By Rich McKay
(Reuters) – An aortic aneurysm caused the death of Grant Wahl, an American sports journalist who collapsed to death last week while covering a World Cup match in Qatar, his widow said on Wednesday.
“Grant died of a ruptured, undetected, slow-growing ascending aortic aneurysm with hemopericardium,” his widow, physician Celine Gounder, wrote in a statement.
An aortic aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge in the aorta, the large artery that carries blood from the heart through the chest, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
“First of all, on behalf of myself and our family, I want to express our deepest gratitude for the support, love and compassion from around the world,” Gounder wrote.
Wahl, 48, a former Sports Illustrated contributor who moved to online publishing platform Substack, was tweeting about the Netherlands-Argentina match on Friday when he collapsed.
His agent had previously told Reuters that Wahl appeared to have suffered some sort of acute affliction during the quarter-final match. Attempts were made to revive Wahl in the press box before he was taken to a hospital, where he was confirmed dead.
Wahl wrote earlier last week that he visited a hospital while in Qatar and that health officials said he likely had bronchitis.
His body was flown back to the United States on Monday, where an autopsy was performed.
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