For­mer vik­ings safety dead of als at 42

JoongAng Daily - - Sports -

For­mer Min­nesota Vik­ings safety Or­lando Thomas has died of com­pli­ca­tions from ALS. He was 42.

Thomas was di­ag­nosed with Lou Gehrig’s dis­ease in 2007. He died on Sun­day night in his home­town of Crow­ley, Louisiana. The death was con­firmed by the Vik­ings. Thomas was a hard-hit­ting starter for seven sea­sons for the Vik­ings, the last one com­ing in 2001. He led the NFL in in­ter­cep­tions with nine as a rookie in 1995.

As ALS be­gan to de­stroy his body, Or­lando Thomas lost his abil­ity to move. Then he could no longer speak. His wife, Deme­tra, guided him through ev­ery painstak­ing word.

The Vik­ings is­sued a state­ment ex­press­ing their sad­ness and con­do­lences to his fam­ily.

“He rep­re­sented the fran­chise and the state of Min­nesota with the ut­most dig­nity and class,’’ the team said.

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