After being admitted to the hospital in July with suspected kidney failure, DeVayne was once again hospitalized last week with pneumonia. The RuPaul’s Drag Race star, who competed on Season 8 of the reality competition show, suffered from scleroderma, a rare condition that literally means “hard skin.” This potentially life-threatening condition is caused by the immune system attacking the tissue under the skin and around internal organs and blood vessels, which can also cause scarring and thickening of tissue, according to The Scleroderma Education Project.
The Shreveport, Louisana, native, who was also a contestant on Season 3 of Drag Race: All-Stars, was very open about her health struggles. During the July hospitalization, DeVayne documented her dialysis, a procedure that removes excess water and toxins in the blood when the kidneys are not performing normally.
The popular international performer, who garnered over 495,000 followers on Instagram, also kept the camera rolling during her latest hospitalization. Days before her death, she shared an update on her health with her fans via Instagram Live. DeVayne said, “Currently battling pneumonia so I’ll be MIA for a few more days.”
On Saturday, while attached to medical equipment in a hospital bed, DeVayne sent out another video message: “Keep me in your prayers. I’ll be back soon.”
DeVayne’s Final Instagram Post was a Tribute to the Late Lady Red Couture
DeVayne’s final post on Instagram was a tribute to another drag star, Lady Red Couture. On July 25, she shared a photo of her dear friend and wrote, “My heart is broken. love you @mothercouture.” Lady Red Couture, whose real name was Kareemia Baines, died at age 43 in July, The New York Times reported. The transgender Black woman, who stood tall at 6-foot-7 without heels, was best known for her popular YouTube series, Hey, Qween!, for which DeVayne was a popular guest.
DeVayne’s post before that was another tribute to a drag star, except this time it was a celebratory message for the lastest Drag Race: All-Star winner, Shea Coulee.
DeVayne Was a Top 4 Finalist During Season 8 of ‘Drag Race’
While DeVayne never won a season of Drag Race, her personality, looks and memorable lip-synch performances made her a fan favorite. During Season 8, DeVayne finished the competition in 4th place. When she returned for All-Stars, DeVayne was eliminated during the fourth episode
Twitter Filled With Tributes to the Beloved DeVayne Following the News of Her Death
After the news of DeVayne’s death broke, Twitter filled with beautiful tributes to the performer from her fellow RuPaul’s Drag Race co-stars. Pandora Boxx tweeted, “This is so heart-breaking. RIP Chi Chi DeVayne. My heart goes out to all of Chi Chi’s family, friends and fans.”
World of Wonder, producer of RuPaul’s Emmy-award winning reality series, tweeted, “We’re heartbroken to learn that Chi Chi DeVayne has passed away today. Her drag spread a message of love and kindness that truly touched each person she met. Rest in power, Chi Chi.”
Drag Race U.K. star Cherry Hole tweeted, “Chi Chi Devayne was such a light during her season and beyond. She always showed how being humble, honest and your true authentic self will get you far! She was a TRUE STAR and her legacy will live on forever #RIPChiChiDevayne.”