New Zealand All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu most likely died from a blood clot which formed during a long-haul flight from Dubai to New Zealand, according to his medic John Mayhew.
A long term kidney condition combined with the risk of blood clots developing during the long-haul flight to New Zealand, may have contributed to the rugby legend’s untimely death at the age of 40. Authorities have unveiled plans to honour the legendary winger with a public memorial service at the 50,000-capacity Eden Park stadium in Auckland.
The Telegraph reports:
Mayhew, a close family friend who announced the star’s death to the world, said Lomu’s kidney disease made him vulnerable to such a scenario.
The player had just returned to Auckland after seeing his beloved All Blacks win the Rugby World Cup in Britain, a marathon flight, even with a stopover in Dubai.
“He returned from the UK via Dubai and appeared to be in good health before he died,” Mayhew told the BBC.
“We think the most likely cause was a clot on the lung which can be a complication of long distance travel. Jonah was at greater risk of that happening because of his renal condition.”
He said Lomu, an electrifying talent who became the game’s first global superstar, would not have known what hit him.
“I think it was instantaneous. He was unaware of what had happened,” he said.
“It’s just one of those tragic complications that can occur in people with chronic renal conditions.”
The US Center for Disease Control advises on its website that long-distance air travel can increase the risk of venous thromboembolism (a blood clot in the vein) by two-to-four times, more if there are pre-existing conditions.
Many airlines advise passengers to walk around the flight cabin or wear compression stockings to help prevent clots forming.
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