Triathlete died of natural causes, says autopsy
CEBU CITY, Philippines–An autopsy performed on the triathlete, who collapsed during the bike portion of Sunday’s grueling triathlon in Cebu, showed he died of natural causes.
The autopsy on Ramon Igaña Jr., 44, showed that acute pulmonary embolism was the cause of his death. It was believed to have caused Igaña to fall off his bike during the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines on Sunday.
The autopsy performed by Dr. Kathrina Saavedra Perez and Dr. Theodore Zamora revealed the presence of several blood clots in Igana’s lungs. The family of Igaña requested an autopsy to determine the cause of his death.
Dr. Perez told the INQUIRER that death from acute pulmonary embolism could happen swiftly and without warning, as in the case of Igaña.
According to the WebMD website (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov), pulmonary embolism is the sudden blockage of a major blood vessel (artery) in the lung, usually by a blood clot camera. If a blood clot is large, or if there are many clots, pulmonary embolism can cause death.
Igaña fell from his bike in Barangay (village) Cansojong, Talisay City at around 9 a.m. However, his wife, Dr. Humility Igaña, did not know about the incident until hours later. She was waiting at the race transition area at Shangri-La’s Mactan Island Resort since she was scheduled to do the run on the relay, learned about what happened hours later.
Witnesses who saw the incident told reporters earlier that Igaña was wobbling on his bike shortly before he fell to the ground. He was brought to the Chong Hua Hospital in Cebu City where he was declared dead on arrival.
Dr. Igaña recalled that there were no signs something was wrong with her husband days before or even prior to the start of the race.
Just minutes before the start of the race at Shangri-La Mactan, Igaña and Humility were seen having fun, excited over their first Ironman.
In an interview over radio station dyAB, Humility said her grief was lessened knowing that Ramon died doing what he loved.
“Biking is his passion even when he was single. That’s what he really loved to do. When he ran at marathons, he also ran fast and did not slow down,” she said.
The widow disclosed that she has yet to shed tears over her husband’s death because she “has to be strong” for their daughter Nina.
She has also accepted her husband’s death, saying “we only have a borrowed life.”
Princess Galura, project director of Sunrise Events Inc., the organizer of the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines, visited Igaña’s wake to extend the organizers’ condolences. Galura also discussed with Dr. Igaña the real cause of Igaña’s death. Sunrise Events Inc. would issue a statement regarding the incident on Ironman Philippines Facebook page.
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