Demaryius Thomas‘ parents are sharing more details about his death.
Seven months after the NFL star was found unresponsive in his Roswell, Ga. home, his parents, Bobby Thomas and Katina Stuckey Smith, revealed that his death was caused by cardiac arrest from a seizure disorder.
“Cardiac arrest, you know, is the way that they’re trying to say what kinda happened to him,” Bobby said in a July 5 interview with Good Morning America, adding that Demaryius “suffocated—he died.”
Bobby and Katina said they learned these details after donating his brain to research. Through this process, they also found out that Demaryius suffered from Stage 2 chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated head trauma that is commonly found in athletes, according to the Mayo Clinic. The rare disorder can cause memory loss, difficulty thinking, changes in behavior, mood swings and more symptoms.
Demaryius’ parents said he was experiencing similar symptoms before his death.
“He was paranoid, like, all the time,” Bobby recalled. “But memory loss, I saw that, as well. Every single day, he complained about having a headache.”