The Growing Pains star died of a “ruptured aorta” and a “standard type A aortic dissection,” according to his official death certificate. The death certificate states his death occurred within minutes of the ruptured aorta, while the time between the onset of the aortic dissection and his death was three hours.
Doctors performed a median sternotomy on Thicke on Dec. 13, which is a surgical procedure that gives the surgeons access to the heart and lungs. His time of death was listed at 2:14 p.m. on the same day.
A type A aortic dissection is a tear that begins in the ascending aorta and progresses throughout the vessel. Prior to his death, Thicke was vomiting and experiencing chest pain, which are common symptoms of a type A aortic dissection.
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