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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Andrew Breitbart Died from Heart Failure

Timothy Birdnow

It appears Andrew Breitbart died of Sudden Death Syndrome, a result of heart failure.

There but by the grace of God...

I nearly suffered the same fate. Heart failure usually has symptoms, particularly swelling in the ankles and whatnot, plus a cough. But the symptoms are not always present; I had a cough, but nothing else. I learned about my heart problems after going to the hospital, thinking I was developing a touch of asthma and would be given an inhaler. Instead I had to carry a portable defibrilator with me for four months and take it a LOT easier. Breitbart, as energetic and over-caffeinated as he was, doubtlessly ignored any minor symptoms he was experiencing.

Breitbart had artherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, contributing to his condition. I was lucky; I had no arterial disease. Andrew had cardiomyopathy, or an enlarged and inflamed heart, as did I.

It gives one pause; our lives hang by a thread, with a tiny muscle that must never stop pumping or clog being the only thing standing between life and a cold grave. But it serves no-one to think on that; life must be lived. Breitbart lived more than most. Perhaps a bit too much. I only wish he would have taken better care of himself while he was here, because he had plenty more living he needed to do.  But, as they say, the candle that burns twice as bright lasts half as long. The Breit in his name was no accident.

His death should be a warning to all of us over 40; there are innumerable hidden monsters lurking about, waiting to prey upon us. I was lucky; I would have died had I not gone to the hospital. Others aren't so lucky. It's important to keep a close eye on your health, to watch for warning signs. I had the good fortune to develop a bizarre fizzing in my lungs, signifying fluid build-up. Andrew Breitbart was not so lucky.

He was a pathfinder, a lighthouse beacon showing us the way. Even in death Mr. Breitbart may do some good for his fellow man by getting others to think about the dangers they may face.

He will be sorely missed.

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