Doctors Told Wrestling Star Big Van Vader He Only Had 2 Years Left to Live Due to His Health Issues
The world of WWE is full of muscular men and women, outrageous costumes, and some of the craziest wrestling moves we’ve ever seen. Sadly, the wrestling world has lost one of its most memorable members, Leon White — better known as Big Van Vader. White has died due to heart complications at the age of 63.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of White’s health problems, however. It seems he had a history of health-related issues and was given an ultimatum by his doctors several years ago.
We remember Big Van Vader for his famous wrestling in the ’90s
White didn’t always live life in the wrestling spotlight. Uproxx reports he started as a lineman for University of Colorado’s football team before joining Los Angeles Rams professional team. It wasn’t until 1985 when he joined professional wrestling, but he quickly rose in the ranks. After several World Heavyweight and Triple Crown Heavyweight Championships, the world loved White.
He also amazed everyone with his longevity in the wrestling world. While some of his most notable performances were earlier on, he managed to have a career in wrestling that lasted over 30 years.
You may also recognize him for his television cameos
Wrestling aside, Big Van Vader was also a huge pop culture icon. CinemaBlend reminds us of the time White was in Boy Meets World as Frankie Stechino’s dad. White was often seen fighting children, which no one really questioned at the time either.
Bay Watch fans may remember the special wrestling episode as well, which featured Vader as one of the cameo appearances. Hulk Hogan, Nature Boy Ric Flair, and Macho Man Randy Savage were also there.
White’s always been candid about his health problems
White’s health problems have never been hidden from the public, even during his most dire times. Uproxx reports several years ago, the wrestling star was given the diagnosis of congestive heart failure. It seems the years of pro wrestling and football were causing his body to fail.
That didn’t mean he was giving up getting into shape, though. He shared a photo of him on Twitter in 2015 looking more muscular than anyone had seen him in years at 60 years old. “Best shape ever,” the caption reads.
He was told in 2016 that he only had two years left to live
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and sadly, it’s what held White back from living to an old age. On Nov. 15, 2016, he tweeted that his doctors told him he only had two years left to live due to his congestive heart failure. “Told by 2 heart Drs that my heart is wore out Ihave been given less than two yrs to live Iam only now allowing this as part of my reality,” the tweet said.
He also reportedly underwent open heart surgery in March 2018, but to no avail.
His children confirmed he died of heart failure
Around a month ago my father was diagnosed with a severe case of Pneumonia. He fought extremely hard and clinically was making progress. Unfortunately, on Monday night his heart had enough and it was his time. pic.twitter.com/hJYjumvxjH
— Big Van Vader (@itsvadertime) June 20, 2018
Us Weekly reports White’s son, Jessie “Jake Carter” White, was the one who made the official announcement of the death on Twitter. “Around a month ago my father was diagnosed with a severe case of Pneumonia,” the tweet reads. “He fought extremely hard and clinically was making progress. Unfortunately, on Monday night his heart had enough and it was his time.”
White’s not the first wrestling star to die from a heart condition
White’s death is causing everyone to pay more attention to other WWE stars who also died of heart failure. The Sun reports Macho Man Randy Savage had a heart attack while driving in 2011, which caused him to lose control of the vehicle and crash into a tree. An autopsy report later revealed he had heart disease and an enlarged heart.
David “Davey Boy” Smith, also known as The Bulldog, also had heart problems. He died in May 2002 from a heart attack, and experts believe past steroid usage likely played a role.
Eddie Guerrero, a WWE Triple Crown titleholder, also experienced heart failure in November 2005 at just 38 years old.
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