Grant Wall’s wife reveals the cause of death in her first interview since his death in the Qatar World Cup

Grant WallCBS News’ wife, Dr. Celine Gunder, said Wednesday that the famous football journalist died of a ruptured aorta.

“An autopsy was performed here in New York by the medical examiner’s office in New York City, and it showed he had an aortic aneurysm,” said Gunder, an infectious disease specialist and CBS News contributor.

“It’s just one of these things that has probably been brewing for years, for whatever reason it has at this point in time,” said CBS Morning co-host Gayle King, in her first interview since her husband’s death.

Wahl passed away on Friday at the age of 49 While in Qatar to cover the World Cup matches. His agent, Tim Scanlan, said the journalist “apparently experienced some kind of acute distress in the press room” at the stadium during the quarter-final match between Argentina and the Netherlands, when the two teams began playing into extra time. Paramedics were called to the scene, Scanlan said, but they were unable to resuscitate him.

Qatari officials said in a statement that Wal “received immediate medical treatment at the site and continued as he was transferred by ambulance to Hamad General Hospital.”

Gunder said she was wrapping up work calls on Friday when she saw incoming Twitter messages, texts and email, and realized “there’s clearly something wrong.” She was told her husband had collapsed and was taken to the hospital after about 20 minutes of CPR. She tried to track down someone at the hospital to tell her what had happened.

“I kept asking: Did he have a pulse?” She said. “If he had caught a pulse when he left the field that would have been a good sign, but nobody would answer the question. So for me – I was scared.”

Grant Wall
Grant Wahl is seen at a game between the US men’s national team and Ecuador at Renschler Stadium in East Hartford, Connecticut, on October 10, 2014.

Farid Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Gunder tweeted Friday that she was “in complete shock” at her husband’s death and thanked the “football family” and their friends and family for their support.

“Knowing that he was loved by so many people makes me feel a little lonely,” Gunder told King. “It’s like a warm hug when you really need it.”

A prolific journalist, Wahl has written for several outlets and has been a contributor to CBS Sports. He was an analyst for CBS Sports HQ throughout the World Cup in Qatar, and wrote guest columns focused on the US Men’s National Team for CBS Sports. He was also an editorial consultant for Paramount+’s football documentaries.

Wahl spoke about his health on a Spotify podcast on Thursday, saying he developed bronchitis while covering the World Cup. Scanlan told CBS News that Wahl had a “heavy schedule” while in Qatar.

greeting It soon gushed over Wal after his death, from athletes like LeBron James and Billie Jean King.

His body was returned to the United States on Monday.

“I want people to remember him as this kind, generous person who was dedicated to social justice,” Gunder said.

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