Grant Wahl Died From an Aortic Aneurysm While Covering World Cup in Qatar, Wife Says
The American journalist died suddenly while covering the World Cup in Qatar last week.
The widow of Grant Wahl is revealing that her husband died last week from an aortic aneurysm.
"He had an autopsy done here in New York by the New York City Medical Examiner's Office," Wahl's wife, Dr. Celine Gounder, told "CBS Mornings" host Gayle King. "It showed he had an aortic aneurysm that ruptured."
The aorta is the large, trunk-like artery that carries blood away from the heart and distributes it to other parts of the body. An aortic aneurysm occurs when a weakened artery wall allows for the aorta to widen or balloon out.
"It's one of those things that had likely been brewing for years, and for whatever it happened at this point in time," Gounder said on Wednesday.
She released a statement on Tuesday as well, pointing out that the medical issues her husband experienced earlier in the week while covering the World Cup may have been early warning signs.
"Grant died from the rupture of a slowly growing, undetected ascending aortic aneurysm with hemopericardium. The chest pressure he experienced shortly before his death may have represented the initial symptoms," Gounder wrote in a post on her late husband's SubStack.
"No amount of CPR or shocks would have saved him. His death was unrelated to COVID. His death was unrelated to vaccination status. There was nothing nefarious about his death," she wrote.
New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center founder Dr. Steve Reissman tells Inside Edition that it is very hard to predict when an aneurysm might burst, and urges frequent check-ups for those who learn they have a weakened artery wall.
"We recommend screening every six to 12 months if you find an aneurysm to keep an eye on it," says Reissman.
In an episode of his podcast, "Fútbol with Grant Wahl," taped the day before he suddenly collapsed while covering the Argentina-Netherlands quarterfinal, Wahl revealed to his listeners that he gotten sick shortly after arriving in Qatar.
"My body told me, even after the U.S. went out, 'Dude, you are not sleeping enough,' and it rebelled on me. So I've had a case of bronchitis this week," Wahl said during the episode. "I've been to the medical clinic at the media center twice now, including today. I'm feeling better today, I basically canceled everything on this Thursday, that I had, and napped."
Wahl also detailed the constant cough he had been experiencing for a few days at that point.
"I'm coughing a lot. Everyone's coughing here. This is by no means limited to me. So many journalists have got a crazy cough that sounds like a death rattle sometimes," Wahl told his listeners. "The only thing that's surprising to me is, there isn't that much COVID here. I thought there'd be a real issue with that. We're not really seeing COVID cases, we're just seeing a lot of general sickness — coughing, colds. And I can't wait to be on the other side of what I have, but I'm going to be ready to go."
Qatar on Monday honored their promise to repatriate Wahl's body so that a medical examiner could determine cause of death, U.S. officials announced early that morning.
An embassy consular officer accompanied the body on the trip from Qatar to the JFK International Airport in New York City, and on Tuesday the medical examiner performed an autopsy.
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