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Demaryius Thomas’s Death Was Brought on by Seizure Disorder


Demaryius Thomas, a four-time All-Pro receiver with the Denver Broncos, died of complications from seizures, the medical expert in Fulton County, Ga., said Sunday.

Thomas died Dec. 9 at his home in Roswell, Ga., lower than six months after he retired from the N.F.L. He was 33.

In July, doctors at Boston University who examined Thomas’s brain found that he had C.T.E., or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease related to repeated head hits. The disease, which might only be posthumously diagnosed, doesn’t cause death. Doctors said they believed Thomas’s seizures were brought on by a 2019 automobile crash wherein his head cracked the windshield and a hydraulic rescue tool was needed to remove him from the vehicle.

Dr. Ann McKee, the neuropathologist who examined Thomas’s brain, said it could have been highly unlikely for C.T.E. to cause his seizures, and Thomas probably died of suffocation after a seizure.

While the reason for Thomas’s death was officially determined, Bertram Ennett, an investigator within the Fulton County medical expert’s office, said the style wherein he died was still undetermined.

Thomas’s driver found him lying within the shower in his home, in accordance with Bobby Thomas, Demaryius’s father.

Bobby Thomas and other relations and friends said Demaryius Thomas’s seizures had change into more quite a few and pronounced in the ultimate 12 months of his life. They attacked with little or no warning and led Thomas to wreck other cars and fall down steps.

At the identical time, he suffered from a number of the conditions related to C.T.E., including memory loss, paranoia and isolation. His behavior became increasingly erratic, those closest to him said, and he went long stretches without leaving his home or responding to calls and text messages.

Thomas handled headaches during his N.F.L. profession, which began in 2010 when he was drafted in the primary round out of Georgia Tech. In Super Bowl 50, which concluded the 2015 season, Thomas was leveled by Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly in the course of the game and had a headache so bad that he missed a lot of the parties after the Broncos’ victory.

In 2019, Thomas had been driving 70 miles per hour in a 30 m.p.h. zone in Denver when he lost control and flipped his automobile multiple times.

Thomas returned to play the 2019 season, his final one, with the Jets, appearing in 11 games. He continued figuring out in 2020, but stopped training midway through the 12 months since the frequency of his seizures increased. He sat out that season and officially retired in June 2021.

Thomas played 10 seasons within the N.F.L., with the Broncos, the Houston Texans and the Jets, catching 724 passes for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns.

In a video announcing his retirement, Thomas said he was still deciding what to do next and looked to construct relationships with anyone who could help.

“It ain’t easy leaving football,” he said. “Because that’s my most important thing, just trying to seek out self and put out love.”

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