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How did Demaryius Thomas die?

The Denver Broncos dominant record-setting WR Demaryius Thomas was found dead in his home Thursday, after years of suffering seizures. His legacy lives on.

The Denver Broncos dominant record-setting WR Demaryius Thomas was found dead in his home Thursday, after years of suffering seizures. His legacy lives on.
Denny MedleyUSA TODAY Sports
How did Demaryius Thomas die?

Former NFL star Demaryius Thomas, who was 33 years old, was found dead in his Roswell, Georgia home on Thursday evening.

Police in the Atlanta suburb shared in a statement that "preliminary information is that his death stems from a medical issue, and our investigators currently have no reason to believe otherwise."

How did Demaryius Thomas’ die?

The 33-year-old had been suffering from seizures for over a year, according to his first cousin LaTonya Bonseigneur, who was practically his sister. She told the AP Friday that they “believe he had a seizure when he was showering."

She added, "we're not sure when he died. We just spoke with him yesterday."

"He was alone and a friend couldn't get hold of him, so he called his driver, who has a key because of these seizures, and he went into his home and found him in the shower."

The NFL described Thomas as a “standout” player whose legacy will be missed by many.

Demaryius Thomas NFL career

Drafted 22nd overall by the Broncos in 2010, Thomas spent over eight seasons with the franchise, becoming one of Denver’s best receivers. He ranks second in career receiving yards and touchdowns, and third in career catches among all-time Broncos.

Thomas, who finished his 10-year career as one of the most efficient WRs of his time, also led Denver to an unexpected win over the Carolina Panthers in the 50th Super Bowl.

The Broncos issued a statement saying they are "devastated and completely heartbroken. We were very much looking forward to celebrating Demaryius for years to come as one of the greatest players in franchise history."

Thomas was traded from Denver to the Texans in 2018, where he played in seven games. He moved on to sign with the New York Jets in 2019, playing 11 games in New York, totaling 36 catches for 433 yards, before announcing his retirement two years later.

A five-time Pro Bowler and the No. 1 pass-catcher for Denver's 2015 Super Bowl championship team, Thomas was selected among the Top 100 N.F.L. players four times.

Demaryius Thomas family history

Thomas was not only a player with a legacy worth sharing, but he was also known to be a grateful individual with a rather interesting family background.

When he was 11, his mother Katina Smith, and his grandmother Minnie Pearl Thomas were arrested on drug charges, while his father was serving in the Army, per local news reports.

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His mother was sentenced to 20 years in prison and his grandmother to life without parole, before former President Barack Obama commuted Katina’s sentence. According to the Broncos’ website, Thomas met the former president at the White House, and thanked him for giving his mother mercy.

“We talked for a quick second,” he said. “I told him ‘Thank you for what you’ve done for my family,’ for giving my mother clemency.”

That same year, Thomas’s grandmother's sentence was also commuted, after 16 years in federal prison. Thomas expressed his happiness to have his family back, “This was a blindside shot, but I’m happy. I’m excited. The past two years, I got my grandmother and my mother out. And a lot of other people got their family members out that didn’t do crazy crimes, so it’s a blessing.”

In June, 2021, Thomas announced his retirement in a video that highlighted his radiant personality, and his sense of gratitude, “I’m going to retire a Denver Bronco. I’m honored; I’m grateful; I’m appreciative.”


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