The death of “American Idol” finalist Michael Johns, who unexpectedly died last Aug. 1, 2014 at only 35 years old, has his family, friends and fans questioning why his condition, a blood clot found on his ankle, became fatal. Doctors talked to Yahoo! Health to shed light on the issue. Read further to learn more about this story.
TMZ was one of the first ones to break the story on Johns’ untimely demise, citing that he actually went to the doctor a day before he died to have his ankle checked, as it was swollen and bruised after accidentally twisting it. But the doctors advised him to go home since they weren’t able to find anything wrong with it. On Friday afternoon, a friend found Johns lying on the couch, apparently already dead.
According to Yahoo! Health, a blood clot doesn’t usually cause problems for many people, as it can subside with the help of blood thinners or physical therapy. A blood clot is an important defense mechanism for the body, as it helps the blood vessels from bleeding out. But when this forms in an area where it shouldn’t be, the condition, called thrombosis, can worsen. In cases where a clot forms in a deep vessel, otherwise known as deep vein thrombosis or DVT, it can be big enough to block proper blood flow. Sometimes, the clot breaks off and travels to the lungs, leading to its collapse or what is medically termed as pulmonary embolism.
“The real tragedy of it is that it’s a very treatable disease. It’s just that too many people are unaware of both the symptoms and risk factors involved. Those who are at heightened risk for DVT include those who have sustained an injury, had recent surgery, or are older, as well as women who are pregnant or on birth control or hormone-replacement therapy — “a whole list of things,” said Charles Abrams, the vice president of the American Society of Hematology, in a report on Yahoo! Health.
Abrams also said that DVT may have led to Michael Johns’ death, whose unusual case occurs with every 100,000 people in the United States yearly. Symptoms include swelling, pain, warmth and redness; but it can be easily diagnosed with an ultrasound or a CAT scan.
On Aug. 4, 2014, an autopsy of Johns’ body remains inconclusive, according to Hollywood Life, pending a toxicology report.
Meanwhile, the former judges on “American Idol” — Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul — posted their sentiments about his death on Twitter. Johns was part of the seventh season of the show.
I just heard the very sad news that Michael Johns has passed away. A truly great guy. Rest in peace Michael.
— Simon Cowell (@SimonCowell) August 3, 2014
So Sad. Too soon. Thank you for sharing your talents with us. RIP Michael Johns
— Randy Jackson (@YO_RANDYJACKSON) August 3, 2014
I'm heartbroken over the loss of @michael_johns.His enormous talent, gigantic heart & infectious personality will live in my heart forever.
— Paula Abdul (@PaulaAbdul) August 3, 2014
Photo Source: Wikimedia Source/Aon