Epilepsy Foundation Statement on the Passing of Former Denver Broncos Wide Receiver Demaryius Thomas

Friday, December 10, 2021

Bowie, Md., December 10, 2021 — The Epilepsy Foundation is saddened to hear about the loss of former Denver Broncos Wide Receiver Demaryius Thomas. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the entire Broncos family. From what has been shared in the media, we understand that Demaryius’s family believes he passed away from a seizure while in the shower. According to what family members have shared in news reports, Demaryius had been experiencing seizures for more than a year.

Since we don’t have any details, other than what has been reported by members of the media, we cannot comment on Demaryius specific situation. However, this reminds all of us in the epilepsy community why it is important to know about the risks associated with seizures and sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).

While we only know what family members have shared in the media currently, we do know that SUDEP is the leading cause of death in people with uncontrolled seizures. SUDEP is the sudden, unexpected death of someone with epilepsy, who was otherwise healthy. In SUDEP cases, no other cause of death is found when an autopsy is done. Each year, about 1 in 1,000 people with epilepsy die from SUDEP.

While death related to seizures is not common, we at the Epilepsy Foundation are taking action to spread awareness nationwide about risks and seizure safety. We honor and remember people, like Demaryius, who leave us far too early. The Epilepsy Foundation is committed to keep fighting until not another life is lost to epilepsy and seizures.

We offer our condolences to Demaryius' family, friends, and fans at this time. If you have lost a loved one due to a seizure or epilepsy, know that you are not alone. The Epilepsy Foundation is here for you and offers bereavement services. You can learn more about our bereavement services and SUDEP at epilepsy.com/SUDEP.

About Epilepsy

According to the World Health Organization, epilepsy is the most common serious brain disorder worldwide with no age, racial, social class, national or geographic boundaries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates that 3.4 million people in the United States are affected by epilepsy. It is the underlying tendency of the brain to produce seizures which are sudden abnormal bursts of electrical energy that disrupt brain functions.

About the Epilepsy Foundation

With a network of partners throughout the United States, the Epilepsy Foundation is leading the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy. The Foundation connects people to treatment, support and resources; leads advocacy efforts; funds innovative research and the training of specialists; and educates the public about epilepsy and seizure first aid. For more than five decades, the Epilepsy Foundation has shone a light on epilepsy to promote awareness and understanding, and to advocate for laws that matter to people with epilepsy, while also funding epilepsy research and supporting epilepsy investigators and specialists in their early careers. In partnership with the CDC, the Epilepsy Foundation has helped to improve access to care for people with epilepsy, expanded its digital reach and online resources in homes across the country, and trained more than 600,000 people in seizure recognition and first aid. The Epilepsy Foundation continues to focus on serving the epilepsy community through advocacy, education, direct services and research for new therapies. To learn more visit epilepsy.com or call 1.800.332.1000. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Contact Name: 
Jackie Aker
Contact Phone: 
(310) 846-9272
Contact Email: 

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

 
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