Bill Paxton’s cause of death may be due to a childhood sickness, and the stroke he suffered may be an indicator of the link between the two.
Bill Paxton, known for his role as John Garret in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., died this past Saturday after complications from surgery. The specific cause of death is believed to be a fatal stroke, which occurred sometime after Paxton’s recent open-heart surgery, and quite possibly may be related to a childhood sickness.
Open-heart surgery, while much safer than it used to be, is still a risky procedure. The chest is cut open, the heart is artificially stopped, and the patient is placed on a heart-lung machine that mechanically pumps and circulates the blood through the body while the surgeon operates on the heart.
Those with prior heart conditions, whether it be heart disease or valve damage of some sort, are at a significantly higher risk than most people. Newsmax quotes renowned cardiologist Dr. Chauncey Crandall, who talked about the connection.
“If you have heart disease within the aorta, this can cause the blood to clot, and the clot can travel to the brain and cause a stroke…. The aorta can be screened with an ultrasound test to see if there is disease present…. This can be performed by the surgeon in the operating room prior to putting the patient on the heart-lung machine, but it isn’t commonly done…. Surgery causes changes in the blood, which can make it more likely to clot and result in a stroke.”
So what does that have to do with Bill Paxton?
Bill Paxton’s cause of death may be linked to a childhood illness called rheumatic fever. While it is fairly uncommon in the United States, the long-lasting results of the sickness can cause complications later in life. Poorly or undertreated strep throat or scarlet fever are often the cause of the sickness, which typically affects children.
“Rheumatic fever can cause permanent damage to the heart, including damaged heart valves and heart failure. Treatments can reduce damage from inflammation, lessen pain and other symptoms, and prevent the recurrence of rheumatic fever,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
When Bill was 13-years-old, he woke up one night with major pain in his wrist. When it grew worse, his father took him to see the doctor, who was unable to diagnose what was the cause of the pain. Paxton eventually wound up in a children’s hospital in Fort Worth, where he was finally able to be diagnosed. The Edge of Tomorrow actor eventually was sent home but was forced to spend several months recuperating from the illness.
Bill Paxton’s cause of death, while technically a stroke, might be the result of complications resulting not just from the surgery, but also from the childhood sickness he suffered. Furthermore, should the surgeon have performed an ultrasound as Dr. Crandall suggested?
According to the Mercury News, Bill was asked if the fever had damaged his heart during a podcast interview with Marc Maron.
“The actor said, almost reluctantly and painfully, ‘Well yeah. …. yeah, yeah, yeah.'”
Since Bill Paxton’s cause of death was due to complications from the surgery, specifically, a stroke, it looks likely that there may be a direct correlation between his childhood sickness and his death. It will be interesting to see if there are any repercussions following the death of the Terminator actor, as he did have a history of potential heart valve damage, which should have been screened for.
What are your thoughts on Bill Paxton’s cause of death? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]