After the saddening and untimely death of world champion surfer, Andy Irons, in November 2010 his family released the results of his autopsy. It was initially thought his death came as a result of Dengue ever but the coroner’s report indicated that he in fact died of a heart attack around 30 hours after taking cocaine.
The toxicology report found a mixture of chemicals in his blood including Xanaxwhich Irons used to help with anxiety and insomnia, as well asbenzoylecgonine, a by-product of cocaine ingestion.
The autopsy was carried out by a Tarrant County medical examiner who ruled out Dengue fever after he discovered a severe blockage of the heart’s main artery which led to a cardiac arrest.
Irons’ family requested an independent review of the autopsy which was conducted by forensic pathologist Dr. Vincent Di Maio who concluded that Irons had a heart attack due to hardening of the arteries, stating that, “A plaque of this severity, located in the anterior descending coronary artery is commonly associated with sudden death.”
Di Maio also added that Irons was already at a disadvantage due to a genetic predisposition which caused the early onset of artery hardening, a condition normally associated with people nearing their 50s. According to his family, Andy also suffered with typhoid in 2006 which could have added to the problems with his heart.
With heart attack as the primary cause of death the autopsy listed an ‘acute mixed drug ingestion’ as a secondary cause.
The full report was made available on June 20th, 2010 after an injunction to keep the details surrounding his death expired. The records were kept on hold after the family placed the injunction while Andy’s wife Lyndie was pregnant. Given her loss and the additional stress of the pregnancy they felt it best to wait until some time after she had given birth to their son.
Irons pulled out of the Rip Curl Searchsurf contest in Puerto Rico after he came down with flu-like symptoms and was put on an intravenous drip to avoid the risk of dehydration after which he boarded a plane from Miami to his home in Hawaii. For reasons unknown, Andy missed the connecting flight and booked into a Dallas hotel where he passed away in the night.