Grant Imahara, the MythBusters host who died Monday after suffering a brain aneurysm, had reportedly been suffering from painful headaches in the days leading up to his death. Sources close to the Discovery Channel star's family told TMZ Imahara had been experiencing migraines for a few days before Saturday night when he was having dinner with his fiancée at a home in Los Angeles.
At some point during the meal, Grant's pain reportedly worsened and he felt dizzy, along with severe neck and back pain and numbness in his legs. When he showed signs of unresponsiveness, his fiancée called 911 around 9 p.m. When paramedics arrived, Imahara's vitals were normal but he was still in serious pain, so he was rushed to the hospital. There, doctors soon realized he had a brain aneurysm and he underwent emergency surgery — which he survived, but never fully recovered. After another operation on Sunday, he came out unresponsive and in critical condition.
On Monday, the 49-year-old reportedly had an MRI to prep for a third surgery, but doctors discovered that the extent of the damage was too severe and that Imahara was wholly unresponsive. The decision was made to remove him from life support.
Imahara's friends and co-workers were shocked to hear of his untimely passing. In a statement on Tuesday, the Discovery Channel said, "We are heartbroken to hear this sad news about Grant," calling him an important part of the network and "a really wonderful man." Former MythBusters star Adam Savage delivered a heartfelt message following the news. "I'm at a loss. No words," Savage wrote on Twitter. He called him a "truly brilliant engineer, artist and performer, but also just such a generous, easygoing, and gentle PERSON. Working with Grant was so much fun. I'll miss my friend."
Kari Byron, who worked with Imahara on MythBusters as well as Netflix's White Rabbit Project, also paid tribute to him, posting several photos with him on social media. "Heartbroken and in shock tonight. We were just talking on the phone. This isn't real," she captioned one of her posts. Tory Belleci, also of MythBusters and White Rabbit Project fame, also remembered Imahara. "I just cannot believe it. I don't even know what to say. My heart is broken. Goodbye buddy," Belleci wrote.
Imahara, Byron and Belleci made up the second team on MythBusters until 2014, when all three left the show. The move caused an uproar among fans, and they reunited two years later for the short-lived White Rabbit Project on Netflix.
After getting his start in robotics by working at Lucasfilm in 1993, Imahara worked on the Star Wars prequels as well as titles like The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Galaxy Quest, The Matrix sequels, Van Helsing and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. His major work on the Star Wars prequels involved updating the R2-D2 droids and even made an appearance in the mockumentary R2-D2: Beneath The Dome. He transitioned into reality television when he joined MythBusters to replace Scottie Chapman.