‘Hickey’ Death: Teen Dies From Stroke After ‘Passion Mark’ Turns To Blood Clot

A 17-year-old teen (some media sites are reporting his age as 16) died last month from a stroke. According to a WKBW News report, the young man’s death is believed to have resulted from a moment of passion with his girlfriend. The “hickey death” or “passion mark” is still under investigation, but sources say it’s a rare cause of mortality.

Julio Macia Gonzalez is identified as the deceased victim. Before he fell ill, the teenager was enjoying dinner with his family when he suddenly began having convulsions. Earlier, he had been “hanging out with his girlfriend.”

Gonzalez’s parents phoned emergency operators about the incident. Upon arrival, paramedics tried lifesaving measures, but it was to late; the teen had passed and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Daily Mail reported that the teen’s cause of death was due to a stroke, brought on by the hickey given to him by the unidentified girl. Apparently, a blood clot formed in the teen’s neck as a result of his girlfriend giving him the hickey. It then traveled to his brain and resulted in a stroke.

The National Stroke Association says a stroke occurs every 40 seconds in America, claims the lives of someone every 4 minutes and is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. The organization defines a “brain attack.”

“A stroke is a ‘brain attack.’ It can happen to anyone at any time. It occurs when blood flow to an area of brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control are lost.”

As stated previously, death from a hickey is extremely rare. Only one other case has been reported of a stroke-like condition resulting from a so-called “Love Bite.” Gonzalez is the only death that arose from a hickey-related stroke.

In 2011, reports surfaced in New Zealand of a woman who took ill from a blood clot after a “romantic encounter.” Someone took the woman to Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital where doctors were bewildered over the cause of her sudden left arm paralysis.

During her triage, physicians noticed a bruise on her neck that was fading, but visible enough to see some broken vessels underneath the surface. After their investigation, which included interviewing the woman, doctors connected the bruise blood supply in her heart that was partially cut off.

Luckily, the woman made a full recovery. Dr. Teddy Wu, her attending physician, who expressed his initial confusion over her illness, said his team treated the woman with warfarin, a strong blood thinner, over the course of a week.

“To my knowledge, it’s the first time someone has been hospitalized by a hickey.”

So, what is a love bite?

The Mirror defines it as a bruise-like mark on a person’s body. They are usually seen on the neck, but a person can have them in other areas, often more than one. The innocuous bruise is caused by suction on a person’s skin to the point where blood vessels and capillaries break.

Hickeys are usually seen on teens and young adults and are often described as a rite of passage. They remain visible for up to 12 days, but ice can be used to lessen the swelling. Although there is no “cure,” a person can use makeup or wear a turtleneck shirt to hide signs of their heated moment.


Reportedly, the dead teen’s girlfriend vanished after word got out about her lover’s death, allegedly from the hickey. Family members are now blaming the girl for their son’s death.

Police are searching for the girl whose age is believed to be 21. It’s unclear if she’s a suspect or only a person of interest in the boy’s stroke death. Furthermore, it’s unclear if she will be brought up on charges once Mexican authorities locate her.

[Photo Alex Cherepanov/Shutterstock]

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