Photo Credit: Michael C. Weimar/Discovery
After the haunting deaths of Heath Ledger and Michael Jackson, it's no wonder that when celebrities meet an untimely end, we look first to their drug problems. But sometimes, an occasional drug user is really just that.
When TV pitchman Billy Mays died suddenly of heart failure this past June, it was unclear what caused his death. The first theory was a head injury from an airplane accident. But when an autopsy revealed cocaine in the 50-year-old man's system, the drug was quickly labeled a cause of death -- even though he'd taken it days before.
Mays' family was so upset by this conclusion that they hired an independent medical examiner to do a second autopsy. According to the new report released yesterday afternoon, the examiner ruled out all causes of death that could have resulted directly from drug abuse. He also noted that Mays had no other health conditions (like kidney disease) that were associated with being a drug abuser. The doctor's conclusion: "cocaine was not a significant contributing factor" in Mays' heart attack.
The actual danger signs for Mays were much more mundane, including "mild obesity, a history of smoking and two close relatives with heart conditions." So if any of these conditions describe someone you love, buy them a pack of Nicorette and get them to a doctor!
Do you think it was unfair of people to assume that drugs killed Billy? Chime in below!