Cain A. Knight
AEW wrestler Jon Huber (aka Brodie Lee) died last month after a long battle with a mysterious lung illness. His wife Amanda joined the AEW Unrestricted podcast to provide a detailed timeline on Brodie Lee’s tragic battle. You should listen to the full podcast to hear her full account.
Brodie first noticed that something was wrong in October when he couldn’t finish workouts on his Peloton bike. The shortness of breath that he experienced was alarming. COVID-19 was an immediate concern, but he didn’t have other obvious symptoms. Within a few days he developed a high fever, but he tested negative for COVID.
He was eventually hospitalized and diagnosed with bronchitis and allergies, but it felt more like pneumonia. The fever went away but his oxygen level severely dropped to the point where he was placed on an oxygen machine. By Halloween, he needed to be moved to another hospital, and that’s when they decided on the Mayo Clinic.
The possibility of a lung transplant was now on the table, and Brodie was placed on an ECMO machine to artificially support his breathing. Here is how Amanda described the condition of his lungs:
“Every COVID test came back negative, to the point where I was like can we just get a positive one, just so we have a fucking answer?…It was like, what is this? So, not 100% sure ‘cause I actually don’t have the autopsy report yet, but I believe the official diagnosis was Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Which literally means that his lungs scarred up, and the idiopathic part means they don’t fucking know why. They don’t know what happened to his lungs, but they know his lungs were just completely scarred over…They think whatever fever he had was his body fighting off whatever infection was in his lungs. The problem is, is that his body doing that high fever he had for a couple days basically attacked his lung tissue and just scarred it over. So by the time we were in the hospital there was no infection, everything was already out of his system. But the leftover scar tissue was there. So on X-rays and scans your lungs are supposed to be, I believe, totally black on the scan. And his were completely white. They were completely scarred over. So that’s why they put him on the ECMO, as a chance to have his body rest and not use his lungs. And let his lungs just try and heal. That was the hope, but obviously that didn’t happen.”
His condition went back and forth between improving and declining from there. But things got a lot worse after a panic attack in late November, leading to an urgent decision regarding a lung transplant. A new infection in his lungs in then appeared by mid-December, and that’s when the battle became hopeless:
“They said what it is. It’s a really super common bacteria that is just everywhere. But because he was so immunocompromised and in such terrible shape, that the bacteria had grown, and his lungs were just…like he was fucked.”
It reached the point where a lung transplant was no longer a viable option. On Christmas Eve, she was notified that his heart and kidneys were failing. It was time for end of life care.
She asked Big E and Cody Rhodes to be there when she broke the tragic news to her son, Brodie Jr.:
“I had been very close with Cody throughout this whole process, and…Brodie Lee Jr., his best friend in the whole world since he was like two years old is Big E from WWE. So I called them both, I think Christmas Eve or Christmas Day…I want you guys to be with me when we tell Brodie, because I wanted him to be safe. That was the worst part of all of this, is telling your eight year old, like hey, your favorite person in the world, your hero, yeah he’s gonna die today. Like, how do you crush somebody?”
Brodie Lee passed away on Dec. 26.
I can’t really do Amanda Huber’s words justice and I’m glossing over a ton of details in this recap, so I strongly recommend that you listen to the podcast yourself if you would like to better understand the full timeline of Brodie Lee’s battle with this terrible lung condition that took his life.