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Parents of Demaryius Thomas Reveal He Suffered Stage 2 CTE

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After an autopsy, the family of the late NFL star Demaryius Thomas reveals that he was suffering from Stage 2 CTE at the time of his death.

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Source: Justin Edmonds/Getty

Last December, former Broncos star and Super Bowl champion Demaryius Thomas was found unconscious in his shower and pronounced dead with little known about his cause of death. After his death, his parents donated his brain to research to better understand how he could die at such a young age. His death was found to have been caused by an epileptic condition that led to him going into cardiac arrest. Thomas was only 33 years old at the time of his death.

Demaryius Thomas’s Parents Reveal He Suffered Stage 2 CTE

After donating his brain to research, his parents revealed that Demaryius also suffered from stage 2 CTE. While CTE does not cause death, it can explain behavioral changes in a person. According to GMA, his parents admitted that they saw him struggle with a deeper pain that they could not explain leading up to his death.

“His mood would change and he would also isolate himself at times,” added his mother, Katina Stuckey Smith. †[Demaryius] would tell me, he said, ‘Mom, I don’t know what’s wrong with my body – I need to get myself together.’ And he said, ‘I don’t feel like myself anymore.’”

Bobby Thomas explained that his son “seeked medical help” but wasn’t sure if it was working. “As far as I understand now, I didn’t help him,” he said.

“When they started explaining – side effects, warning signs and then the bell started to ring. When they said it, I thought, ‘Man, he did that. He did,’ said his father. ‘And I gave myself the blame because I said, ‘I know I could have done more.’”

While several families feel guilty after a diagnosis like this, it’s important to remember that there is currently no specific treatment for CTE. dr. McKee calls CTE an “invisible injury” that can only be confirmed after a person has died.

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