Chris Brodman had experienced a number of near-death experiences over the years, including a head-on collision in 2007, which sent the young man flying through the windshield and resulted in a broken back. He also battled hepatitis and HIV and heart issues. He once relayed to a friend, Roy Malsonaldo, that hepatitis treatment felt like death. All that and Brodman was also a survivor of the horrific June 12 attack that took place at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando where 49 were killed while 53 were left injured. The survivor was said to have been smoking a cigarette on the patio when the gunfire began. He and a few others hopped a fence and ran to safety. He spoke with the media following the incident, as The Washington Post shares.
“We were out there when the shots started to be fired. I said, ‘Run. Just run, run, run.’ And we all just ran out the bar.”
Sadly, three months following the shooting at Pulse, Brodman died suddenly and unexpectedly. The 34-year-old’s death remained a mystery until an autopsy was conducted and it showed the presence of a genetic defect that he’s had his whole life. The presence of malformed blood vessels caused a hemorrhage in Brodman’s brain. As The Washington Post shares, the blood vessels suddenly burst, resulting in a quick death that was unforeseen.
— Troy Campbell (@TroyLeeCampbell) November 2, 2016
Keith Walters, Brodman’s best friend ever since high school, spoke of the passing of his friend who was faced with so many challenges and tragedies.
“All the tragedy, all the times he could have died and it was all going to end at this point and that time regardless. I would have never expected this to happen to him, and I don’t think he did, either.”
Friends shared about their memories of Brodman, stating that he was an outgoing and exuberant young man but also note that the challenges he was facing often took a toll on him and he would be open about them. Walters shares more about his friend.
“You wanted to be near him. I would say everyone who ever met him was his best friend. He’s the kind of person who went into a room and lit it up. It didn’t matter who you were, you were going to be his friend.”
Maldonaldo also chimed in and spoke about a man who he knew would watch soap operas endlessly and quote from his favorite movies regularly and sporadically. He also added that within a private setting, Brodman would retreat.
“Inside, he was a damaged, hurt person. He was used to having to be in a position where he didn’t want people to feel sorry for him. He was used to being disappointed.”
Some of this disappointment came by way of his strained relationship with his adoptive father. Both he and his sister were adopted and his adoptive mother died when he was 17. Brodman’s father was never really involved in his life following his wife’s death. The young man tried his best to keep from becoming cynical and instead filled his life with friends he would make wherever he would go. He frequented clubs and often went on cruises with Maldonaldo, where they would meet all kinds of interesting people. He also spent a good deal of time at medical clinics to be treated for Hepatitis and HIV where he befriended nurses and doctors.
— meaws (@meaws_com) September 15, 2016
Following the tragic event at Pulse, where he escaped with his life while many lost theirs, Brodman’s friends share that although he continued to party on the weekends, the experienced affected him deeply and he struggled to talk about it. Maldonaldo was worried that Brodman wasn’t doing enough to deal with the trauma of the experience.
The publication recounts the final moments that Brodman experienced before he passes so swiftly.
“On Sept. 12, he was in Tampa for a birthday party. The party at a mansion on a lake was catered, with photographers and an open bar.Brodman had gone outside for a cigarette. Friends found him lying on the ground, dead. There were no signs of trauma.Friends were shocked about the cause of death.”
[Featured Image by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images]