Bodybuilder and judge Jerry Ward died of pulmonary embolism due to deep vein thrombosis, medical examiners say – Fitness Volt
New details have emerged following the tragic death of the late Jerry Ward, 46. His wife, Erin Merritt, has revealed he died of a pulmonary embolism following deep vein thrombosis.
Despite some of his controversial beliefs, Jerry Ward was highly respected in the bodybuilding community. Prior to his untimely passing, he served as a commentator for Gary Udit’s 2022 National NPC Teen, Collegiate and Masters Bodybuilding Contests in Pittsburgh, PA. Hours before his death, Ward shared a video of himself speaking out against those who lack common sense.
His passing was reported by many media, including Dave Palumbo of Rx Muscles. According to Palumbo, Ward was complaining to a close friend about pulling a left rib. At the time, Palumbo suspected the injury was caused by Jerry carrying heavy luggage while staying at a hotel.
Palumbo also shared that Ward used a massage chair the night he died, but told his friend, Rich, that his rib problem got worse afterward. While his friend encouraged him to see a doctor for the pain, Jerry decided against it and stayed focused on his next live tasks.
Given Ward’s outspoken nature, his wife, Erin Merritt, shared more details regarding his passing. Following a recent call from the medical examiner’s office, Merritt was informed that Jerry Ward had died of a pulmonary embolisma condition where the pulmonary arteries in the lungs are blocked by a blood clot, which has occurred as a result of deep vein thrombosis (a condition in which blood clots form deep inside the body, usually in the thighs or lower legs).
For a more detailed explanation, see Erin Merritt’s statement below.
Jerry Ward’s wife gives details before his death; Eliminate the rumors
In a recent Instagram video, Jerry’s wife, Erin Merritt, provided further details regarding his death after receiving more information from the medical examiner’s office.
“I got a call from the medical examiner’s office yesterday and I finally have Jerry’s cause of death. And instead of everyone writing articles where everyone thinks they know how he died — and also, I I’m not a doctor as one article also said, I want to give you some facts because that’s how Jerry liked to operate.Yes, he had an opinion too, but he liked to dig into the facts.
The thing is, the reason Jerry died is because he died of a pulmonary embolism following deep vein thrombosis. No, he has not had any surgery. No, he was not on long flights. No, he didn’t complain of any sort of calf or leg problem, there was nothing there. He was fine before leaving on the trip on Tuesday. If something happened during the week, he never talked about it,” Erin Merritt said.
Merritt said Ward did not feel “well” the night he died. She added that that was to be expected considering he had clients attending bodybuilding shows over the weekend.
“I know there were a lot of reports that he wasn’t feeling well and it’s true – he told me he wasn’t feeling his best. Most of the time we sort of thought he was on a very stressful trip he was excited he had two clients who were on the show I didn’t expect him to sleep well I didn’t expect him felt 100% and he didn’t. It didn’t seem so out of whack.
One rumor that turned out to be true was that Ward collapsed in his hotel room the night he died. She said her body was found during a wellness check the next morning.
“We know this rumor to be true: he collapsed in his hotel room. It appears to have been after he took a shower before getting into bed, he was on his feet and he collapsed. He was found the following morning during a wellness check when he had failed to report to his normal duties for the show,” Merritt explains.
Initially, Erin thought Jerry died of a heart attack, but recently discovered it was a pulmonary embolism. Given his transparent nature, Merritt thought it best to dispel any further rumors and explain how he died.
“He liked transparency. He wanted facts and he wanted people to know what happened whether he wanted to tell you or not – he always told you the truth and it is the truth. So I want to put that to rest. It looked like he probably had some kind of heart attack when he died.
It was the only thing that made sense or came to mind, but now we know it was PE [pulmonary embolism]. For those of you who know, they tend to be quite deadly, and they strike like that, and you’re done. It gives me some comfort to know that he didn’t suffer,” Merritt said.
There have been an alarming number of deaths in the bodybuilding community since last year. Former Mr. Olympia Shawn Rhoden died of suspected heart failure and George Peterson also met his fate face down in a hotel room before he got a chance to compete at Olympia 2021. The year last, bodybuilder and actor Andy Haman died of a pulmonary embolism as well.
RELATED: 21 bodybuilders died of heart attack
This year, the worrying trend has continued. In April, bodybuilding veteran Cedric McMillan died at just 44 years old. With numerous suspected heart issues at stake, his wife, Patty, released a statement explaining that the cause of his death is still unknown.
Like Jerry Ward, his wife wanted to be transparent about this information because that’s what he would have wanted.
FitnessVolt wishes his friends and family our deepest condolences as they mourn their loss.