Rapper Heavy D Died of a Blood Clot After Long Transatlantic Plane Flight

The Music Industry Reacts To Heavy D’s Death

Rapper Heavy D in the mid-1990s when he wasn't so heavy; he sure looked good then and he probably was a bit more healthier (Courtesy: Flickr)

The news is more than two hours old.  From The L.A. Times:

An autopsy performed on rapper Heavy D, who collapsed and died suddenly on Nov. 8, found that the cause of death was a pulmonary embolism, according to the report released Tuesday.

The coroner’s office found that Dwight Arrington Myers, better known as Heavy D, died of a blood clot in his lung. He also suffered from deep leg vein thrombosis and heart disease.

The blood clot was “most likely formed during an extended airplane ride,” said Craig Harvey, chief of the Los Angeles County department of coroner. The rapper had recently returned from a trip to London.

Initially, it was reported that the rapper and actor suffered from pneumonia, and that the illness may have been the cause of his death. A toxicology report found the presence of medication in Heavy D’s system, but it was at a therapeutic level.

“He was treating himself with cough syrup,” Harvey said. “But it was not contributory [to his death].”

He died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after collapsing outside his Beverly Hills home after returning from a shopping trip.

Experts tell people to get up and walk around during plane flights, especially hours-long flights, for fear of a clot forming in the legs and traveling to the lungs and heart.  (You should stand up and walk around during the day at the office as well.  Just sitting at the computer does you no good either.)   But nobody thinks about this kind of thing until it is too late.  I wouldn’t be surprised that Heavy D needed two seats in order to travel, and stayed there all the way back to the States, except for occasional trips to the rest room, particularly if he had had an alcoholic drink or two.  And if so, that wasn’t good.

Even if Heav had been placed on some kind of aspirin regimen, it would not have thinned his blood and reduced the clot forming in his leg.   Along with walking up and down the plane, Heavy D could have drunk more water and juices during the flight, worn compression socks, avoided crossing his legs,  or twirled or twisted his ankles around.

The plus-size actress and model Mia Amber Davis–known for her appearance in Road Trip–also died earlier this year from a pulmonary embolism not long after she had knee surgery.  Again, a lack of movement during her convalescence may have contributed to her death.

The more morbid and crazy among us may say that Michael Jackson may have killed the 44-year-old rapper.  After all, Heavy D had been invited to perform at a concert to commemorate Jackson in London.  Nope.  There is nothing at all to that nutty angle.  When brother slimmed down in the Nineties to start up his acting career, he should have stayed thattaway.  Heavy D’s last bit performance was in Eddie Murphy‘s Tower Heist as a courthouse guard.

Despite whatever Heav’s brother said in interviews about the rapper’s general health and frame of mind, Heavy D also suffered from heart disease from eating large and not exercising.  He may or may not have known about this; like high blood pressure, heart disease may go undiagnosed for years.  In other words, his weight (way over 300 lbs.) also contributed to his death.  From CNN:

Blood clot diagram (Thrombus)

How a blood clot actually forms in the legs (Courtesy: Wikipedia)

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) are serious medical conditions that are often undiagnosed, but they are preventable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in the lower leg, thigh or pelvis. It can happen to anyone, but there are many risk factors that increase the chances of developing the condition.

Among those factors is obesity, and Heavy D was known for being overweight.

PE is the most serious complication of DVT and happens when part of the clot breaks off and travels through the bloodstream to the lungs, the CDC says.

People may recover from having a small clot, but a large one can stop blood from reaching the lungs and is fatal.

I knew Heavy D was not that kind to be abusing drugs; throughout his career, I never read about him having a problem, and I would have been surprised if this had emerged from the autopsy.  Dwight Myers seemed to be a regular human being who was interested in being in the world and of the world.  His lyrics, his music–the guy was definitely a lover and not a fighterHis last Tweet was, “Be inspired!”

But food is an addiction and is like a drug.  You may dig those ribs now, but they sure may contribute to an early death just like any overdose.   I mean, my health scare earlier this year made me a believer.  Put down the extra plate, not just during the holiday season, but thereafter.  Vary your meals at home, and try to stay away from eating at fast food joints and restaurant chains where they cook food down to its bare nutritional levels and load it with salt.  Buy square or smaller plates rather than round ones.  Why?  Because you can put a lot less food on a square plate than a round plate and make the portions appear larger.  Round plates have grown two inches bigger in the last few decades, and they are even larger in restaurants.  Make a date to take a walk after you’ve had a big dinner at home or a big nosh at Chili’s.  You may find that you can go to sleep and digest your food better and faster than if you had simply lain around and watched TV that evening.  Those are the small ways in which you can begin to save your own life.

I’m very sorry that Heavy D is gone, and I’m even more sorry that it all could have been preventable.  Rest in peace, bro.

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~ by blksista on December 27, 2011.

2 Responses to “Rapper Heavy D Died of a Blood Clot After Long Transatlantic Plane Flight”

  1. Very sad. My sister passed away from a blood clot to the lung. The medication she was taking helped one thing but hurt another. So incredibly sad.

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