Amanda Huber, the wife of the late Brodie Lee, was interviewed on the latest “AEW Unrestricted” podcast. Amanda gave details on what happened that led to the passing of her husband. She noted that he was first treated at the hospital in Tampa, Florida but was later transported to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Click here to listen to the podcast and I highly recommend for everyone to do so.
Here is a rundown of what was talked about (h/t to miber3 on Reddit for the great write-up):
- On the day of Brodie Lee recording the AEW Unrestricted Podcast, he was on his Peloton bike but was unable to finish his workout, citing a shortness of breath. Concerned about the possibility of Covid-19, Amanda took his temperature and checked his senses of taste and smell, but it all seemed normal.
- He tried the workout again, with the same result.
- He drove to Jacksonville for Dynamite tapings. He tested negative for Covid-19, but due to his symptoms, Doc Sampson did not feel confident allowing him inside their bubble, so he drove back home.
- As a precaution, Brodie quarantined in his bedroom, away from Amanda and the kids.
- He developed a high fever Thursday. Amanda kept him hydrated but he was not eating.
- Additionally, he got a nasal swab test. The results came back Sunday, and were negative.
- Went to Urgent Care and was diagnosed with Bronchitis and allergies. Brodie & Amanda didn’t agree with that diagnosis. Brodie said that he felt like he had pneumonia.
- He was prescribed an oral antibiotic, an oral steroid, and allergy medication.
- Was showing visible signs of distress. His face was sunken in.
- They went back to the hospital. He was leaning on Amanda as they were walking, as he was having trouble. Amanda told him to sit down and that they should get a wheelchair, but Brodie refused.
- They took him back to triage. They checked his temperature, but at that time his fever had gone away. They checked his oxygen multiple times (with multiple machines), as they didn’t believe the result. His oxygen level was 52 (normal is ~100, an asthma attack is ~85). He was rushed back to be put on oxygen.
- The doctors suspected Covid-19, and he was tested again (the third time, so far). Again, the results were negative.
Amanda notes that his health seemed to have up’s and down’s over this timespan. Sometimes he would seem okay, but other times he clearly wasn’t.
- He was taken to the ICU so that they could keep a better eye on him.
At this point, various people at AEW were aware of Brodie’s health issues, as it was known that he was sent home from work. Chris Harrington in particular (a long-time friend of the Hubers) reached out to them offering their help. This was at least in part due to Amanda wanting to keep things close to the vest, as they tended to live a private life and she did not want this to end up in the dirt sheets.
- Fast-Forward to Halloween
- The doctor told her that they needed to transfer Brodie to another hospital outside of Tampa. They opted for the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, since she knew they had some connections through AEW in Jacksonville.
- The reasoning for the transfer was described as ‘a matter of life or death.’ He needed to go on an ECMO machine as well as possibly needing a lung transplant.
- Brodie was still conscious at this point, but they told Amanda she shouldn’t see him now because she was clearly emotional and they worried it would just upset and make things worse for Brodie. She was told to go back home and pack a bag and come back.
As an aside, Brodie Jr wanted to be Orange Cassidy for Halloween. Amanda initially thought that was silly and that nobody would know who Orange Cassidy was, but one of Brodie’s last words were “Go buy him a fucking denim jacket.” Amanda hand-painted a Brodie Lee costume for Nolan to wear. They were especially looking forward to this Halloween, since it was going to be Brodie’s first one home with the family.
- Later That Same Day
- Amanda did not want to lie to Brodie Jr and tell him that everything would be okay, but instead tried to focus on the positives: that his dad was going to the best hospital in Florida where they would try to take good care of him.
- She took pictures of her boys in their costumes so that she could show them to Brodie when she got to the hospital (they’re on Instagram here)
- Just as she was about to pack her bag to go back to the hospital she received a call that he “crashed and was intubated.”
- When she arrived to his hospital room she said it was “horrifying to look at.” The room was trashed and he had a tube down his throat. She had to sit in the conference room as they awaited the flight transfer. Around 1am they boarded the plane and flew to Jacksonville.
- The First Day In Jacksonville
- Brodie was placed on an ECMO machine and being prepped for surgery.
- Amanda had to stay at a hotel in Jacksonville that AEW insisted on covering the costs of.
Amanda commends the nurses and staff at the Mayo Clinic for how kind and compassionate they were – not only in helping Brodie, but in helping her and keeping her informed.
As someone who doesn’t like receiving help from others, Amanda takes a moment to talk about how she has benefitted from medication and therapy to help get her through these difficult times. Margaret Stalvey (from a recommendation by Chris Harrington) had also begun bringing her food.
- November 9th
- Amanda signed paperwork to start the lung transplant process for Brodie.
- Amanda came to talk to AEW. They asked her how they wanted to handle this, and she told them that she wanted to keep all of this private. She offered to speak to the locker room personally, to hopefully “guilt” them into not letting this information leak out. Both Amanda and Aubrey mention routinely checking places like Reddit to see if the information had leaked.
At some point at the Mayo Clinic he was tested for Covid-19 again. This time, via a “bronchial wash,” a method the clinic had used in the past to discover Covid cases that otherwise did not appear via traditional tests. Again, the result was negative.
- November 14th (Amanda’s birthday)
- The nurses had made a banner and surprised Amanda with a birthday cake.
- End of November
- Brodie had begun showing signs of getting better. They had performed a tracheotomy so that Brodie could be removed from the ventilator. He was able to wake up and non-verbally communicate with Amanda (smiling, mouthing words). He started physical therapy and things were looking up.
- Instead of the ventilator, he was put on oxygen. Unfortunately, he suffered a panic attack, which is when things took a turn for the worse.
- She knew there were going to be setbacks (2 steps forward, 1 step back), but in December things seemed to just continually get worse and worse.
- They wanted to revisit the idea of a lung transplant. It was described to her as Brodie needing either a “lung transplant or end of life care.”
- While in the hospital, Brodie got an infection in his lungs. She found out about this sometime around December 13th, her and Brodie’s wedding anniversary.
- December 16th (Brodie’s birthday)
- Chris Jericho flew Brodie Jr up to Jacksonville on his private plane. He got to attend that episode of Dynamite, which was a big deal to him as he was (and had always been) such a big wrestling fan.
- That night, Amanda was expecting to receive a phone call on the decision as to whether or not Brodie would receive a lung transplant. She didn’t hear anything, which she assumed meant it would be a “no.”
- December 24th (Christmas Eve)
- Amanda had gone back home to spend a few days with her kids.
- She received a phone call from a doctor (one she wasn’t particularly a fan of) saying that they needed to begin end of life care. At this point, Brodie’s kidneys and heart were failing. Amanda refused to come back to Jacksonville, as she was determined to spend Christmas with her children – despite the risk that she may not be there when Brodie passes.
- December 25th (Christmas Day)
- Some family had flown in and they tried to have a normal Christmas day, despite the obvious difficulties.
- That night, along with her brother-in-law and sister-in-law they flew back to Jacksonville. The kids were staying with her mother-in-law, and drove up the next day.
- She called Cody Rhodes (who had been close with Amanda throughout the whole process, and who went through the ordeal of having a larger-than-life father pass away) and Big E (Brodie Jr’s favorite wrestler) to see if they would be willing to come to the hospital and be there when she had to tell Brodie Jr about his father’s passing.
- December 26th (Brodie Lee’s passing)
- Cody, Big E, Shawn Spears, Peyton Royce, Tyler Breeze, and Margaret and Megha, from AEW’s PR/Legal team (who had been very supportive of Amanda throughout this ordeal, including bringing her food and inviting her to Thanksgiving dinner) all came to the hospital to say goodbye to Brodie.
- Cody, Big E, and Amanda went back to the hotel to tell Brodie Jr about his father’s passing.
- The official cause of death was determined to be “idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.” The term “idiopathic” is used when the cause of a disease is not known. “Pulmonary fibrosis” is a scarring of the lungs. She is still awaiting an autopsy report, which could contain additional information.
- December 30th (Brodie Lee Celebration of Life)
- No official service was held for Brodie, due to Covid-19.
- “AEW’s celebration of life – that was his funeral.”
- “The outpouring of love from the wrestling community has been unreal.”
- She didn’t want to watch the tribute video beforehand, so she saw it for the first time while she was in the ring. “It was perfect, it was beautiful, and seriously you can go fuck yourself.” (note that this was said with a laugh, as Amanda is someone who doesn’t like to cry but that video ‘broke her’)
- “I get really, really fucking angry if I see anybody who’s like, ‘Oh, they’re exploiting the family.’ No, they’re going above and beyond to let an 8-year old live his favorite thing in the world, and have his connection with his dad.”
- For full disclosure, Amanda was the one who asked to do the podcast, to hopefully clear the air.
- There’s been talk of -1 doing a future podcast along with Preston Vance.
Note: I just want to reiterate how often and how passionately Amanda commended the nurses she worked with for all of the great things that they do. On multiple occasions she specifically mentioned Penny, Barb, and Jill from the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville (the latter of which she was so happy to see on the day that Brodie passed that it was one of the handful or so times that she cried throughout this ordeal), as well as Danny from Advent Health in Tampa. Additionally, AEW’s Margaret Stalvey & Megha Parekh (through the recommendation of Chris & Alissa Harrington) were mentioned numerous times. Also, she spoke particularly fondly of Cody Rhodes and Chris Jericho.
Podcast Link – give it a listen if you can, but it’s a tough one.