Jonah Lomu’s death was most likely from a blood clot on a lung associated with air travel back to New Zealand after the Rugby World Cup, former All Blacks doctor John Mayhew says.
The former All Blacks doctor and close friend made the case for the blood clot in an interview with the BBC Five Live show in Britain on Monday (NZ time).
Lomu died last week at the age of 40, ending a long battle with a chronic kidney condition that included a transplant.
“He returned from the UK via Dubai and appeared to be in good health before he died,” Mayhew told the BBC in reports repeated in Britain.
“We think the most likely cause was a clot on the lung which can be a complication of long distance travel.
“Jonah was at greater risk of that happening because of his renal condition.
“The other possibility is a cardiac death, but on the balance of probabilities it was probably a massive clot on the lung.”
Mayhew also indicated Lomu’s death would have been “instantaneous”.
“Soon after, we tried to resuscitate him, but he was comfortable and I think it was instantaneous. He was unaware of what had happened,” Mayhew said.
“It’s just one of those tragic complications that can occur in people with chronic renal conditions.”
Mayhew said no one expected Lomu’s death so soon, despite his health issues.
“Jonah was aware he was not going to live a long life but 40 is far too young.
“We anticipated he would go a lot longer than that.”
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.