Following the sudden death of sports journalist Grant Wahl, his brother is encouraging people around the world to be proactive about their heart health.
On the 10th of December, during the World Cup in Qatar, the journalist experienced a ruptured aortic aneurysm that had been slowly growing inside of him for an extended period of time prior to his death. “We had no idea Grant carried this inside his body,” his brother, Eric, admitted on Twitter. “Get checked for Marfan syndrome.”
However, Eric also specifically encouraged folks with Grant’s body type to pay attention to their heart health. “Tall, lanky guys with long arm spans & long, narrow fingers, &/or if you have/had pectus excavatum: please get a heart-specific health check-up,” he explained. He also shared that he will, “be doing this right when I get home.”
Eric has been alongside his brother’s wife, Dr. Céline Gounder, in New York City where they met Wahl’s body upon its return. In addition to Eric, Gounder has been open about his shock over her husband’s death and opened up during an exclusive interview with Gayle King on CBS Mornings.
She relayed the information, “Honestly, this has been so surreal… even now having seen the body it’s really hard to believe this is real, but I just needed that.”
Grant Wahl’s wife discusses his tragic death with Gayle King
“He had an autopsy done here in New York by the New York City medical examiner’s office, and it showed that he had an aortic aneurysm that ruptured,” she continued, revealing the cause of Wahl’s death. “It’s just one of these things that had been likely brewing for years, and for whatever reason, it happened at this point in time.”
Grounder, who is an infectious disease specialist, also added that there was nothing anyone could do to stop it. She stated, “The chest pressure he experienced shortly before his death may have represented the initial symptoms. No amount of CPR or shocks would have saved him.”
Wahl’s wife added that his love of soccer was incredibly special, as he used it as a means to connect with those around the world. “There’s so much about the culture, the politics of sport, of soccer. To him it was a way of really understanding people and where they were coming from,” she explained. “I want people to remember him as this kind, generous person who was really dedicated to social justice.”
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