Former NFL wide receiver Demerius Thomas died of “complications of a seizure disorder,” according to an autopsy released Friday.
Thomas’ Death in December 2021 NFL fans were stunned at age 33 who saw the longtime Denver Broncos receiver stay in the league for 10 years. Thomas was 16 days away from his 34th birthday.
A cousin suspected that Thomas had died from a seizure in the shower at their home in Roswell, Ga. The family said Thomas began having seizures after a violent 2019 car accident.
“It is unknown whether Mr Thomas’ seizure disorder is the result of natural causes or a result of head impacts during his career as a professional football player and the medical records reviewed show an etiology for Mr Thomas’ seizures. is not involved,” the Fulton County, Ga., coroner wrote at the autopsy, according to Denver Post,
Last month, Thomas’s family Turns out he had Stage 2 CTE when he died. The chronic brain disease, which can lead to depression and dementia, has been found in more than 300 former NFL players. This disease can be diagnosed only posthumously.
Thomas’ mother Katina Smith said, “Once I found out about CTE and began to familiarize myself with the symptoms, I noticed that Demerius was isolating himself and I saw other changes in him.”
While CTE is associated with mood swings and other brain issues, “CTE itself does not cause death. You don’t die from CTE. What CTE does is that it changes your behavior and your personality,” says Boston University on Disease State-of-the-art Research Center leader Dr. Ann Mackie said. Mackie said that seizures are unlikely to be caused by CTE.
In addition to his eight years with the Broncos, Thomas played for the Houston Texans and New York Jets. He officially retired from football a few months before his death.