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Grant Wahl’s Brother Urges People to Get a ‘Heart-Specific’ Checkup After His Sudden Death

Grant Wahl

Grant Wahl

Grant Wahl.
Photo: Brendan Moran/FIFA/Getty

Grant Wahl‘s brother is urging others to to be proactive about their own heart health after the sports journalist’s sudden death last week at the World Cup.

His brother Eric Wahl, who has been providing updates on the situation, emphasized the need for in-depth medical exams after the family learned that Grant’s eventual aortic aneurysm had been slowly growing inside of him for well before his death.

Specifically, Eric encouraged “tall, lanky guys with long arm-spans” and “long, narrow fingers” to see their doctors for a “heart-specific health check-up.”

“We had no idea Grant carried this inside his body,” Eric shared. “Get checked for Marfan syndrome as well.”

Eric said he plans to get his own heart health checked “right when” he returns home. Eric has been in New York City with Grant’s wife, Dr. Céline Gounder, where they met Grant’s body upon its return from Qatar and brought it to a medical examiner.

Gounder discussed her husband’s death from a ruptured aortic aneurysm in her first interview since his passing on Wednesday.

“He had an autopsy done here in New York by the New York City medical examiner’s office, and it showed that he had an aortic aneurysm that ruptured,” the infectious disease specialist, who is a contributor to CBS News, told Gayle King on CBS Mornings.

celine gounder, grant wahl

celine gounder, grant wahl

Grant Wahl and Céline Gounder.
celine gounder/twitter

“It’s just one of these things that had been likely brewing for years, and for whatever reason, it happened at this point in time.”

According to CBS News, his agent, Tim Scanlan, had said Wahl “appeared to have suffered some sort of acute distress in the press room” during the quarterfinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands. Paramedics were called to the scene but unable to revive him while he was transferred to Hamad General Hospital.

Grant himself said on his podcast earlier in the week that he had come down with “a case of bronchitis.”

“My body told me, even after the U.S. went out, ‘Dude, you are not sleeping enough,’ and it rebelled on me. So I’ve had a case of bronchitis this week,” he said. “I’ve been to the medical clinic at the media center twice now, including today. I’m feeling better today, I basically canceled everything on this Thursday, that I had, and napped.”

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Gounder said she wanted to be the one to identify Wahl’s body herself, even though others could have done so.

“I just really needed to see, because honestly this has been so surreal. Even now, having seen the body, it’s really hard to believe this is real,” she told King on Wednesday. “But I just needed that.”