Former NFL star Demaryius Thomas' cause of death revealed originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Demaryius Thomas’ cause of death has been revealed just under eight months after his tragic passing.
The former NFL star wide receiver died of complications related to a seizure disorder, according to an autopsy report from the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office. The report was obtained by 9NEWS and The Denver Post.
Thomas was found dead in the shower of his Roswell, Georgia, home on Dec. 9 of last year, less than six months after he retired from the NFL. He was 33 years old and 16 days shy of his 34th birthday.
The medical examiner, Karen Sullivan, classified the manner of Thomas’ death as “undetermined,” according to the report.
Thomas’ family had believed his death was related to a seizure. Thomas had been suffering seizures following a 2019 car crash where his car rolled multiple times and he hit his head on the windshield after driving over 70 mph in a 30-mph zone.
Last month, Thomas was posthumously diagnosed with Stage 2 chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after doctors at Boston University’s CTE Center examined his brain. CTE is a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated trauma to the head.
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"CTE itself does not cause death. You don't die from CTE," Dr. Ann McKee, director of Boston University’s CTE Center, told ABC News following the examination. “What CTE does is it changes your behavior and your personality."
Thomas’ parents said he had been dealing with headaches, paranoia, memory loss and mood swings in the year leading up to his death.
In the autopsy report, Sullivan said it’s unknown if Thomas’ seizure disorder was a result of natural causes or from the head impacts he took during his playing career. She noted that the autopsy findings were shared with Boston University’s Dr. Chris Nowinski, who did not believe Thomas' seizure disorder was caused by CTE.
A product of Georgia Tech, Thomas was selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. Thomas spent eight-plus years of his 10-year career with the Broncos, making four Pro Bowls and winning Super Bowl 50. He also played for the Houston Texans, New England Patriots and New York Jets.