Chyna’s brain confirmed to be be donated to research; inside her final few days
PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.
(Search “wade keller” to subscribe in podcast app or CLICK HERE to subscribe in Apple Podcasts.)
April 26 Update: The manager for Chyna (Joanie Laurer) confirmed Tuesday that Laurer’s brain will be donated to research.
According to manager Anthony Anzaldo, the hand-off has been made to CTE researcher Dr. Bennet Omalu to determine the condition of Laurer’s brain at the time of her death last week.
Although Dr. Omalu primarily researches the effects of concussions on the brain, Anzaldo wants to know more about “what made her tick” as far as decision-making and mental health. (ESPN Report)
April 22 Report
Plans are being made for Chyna (Joanie Laurer)’s brain to be donated to research, according to her manager speaking to the New York Daily News.
Laurer’s manager, Anthony Anzaldo, said he has been in contact with CTE researcher Dr. Bennet Omalu to examine Laurer’s brain. The goal is not necessarily to study the effects of concussions from Laurer’s pro wrestling career, but what contributed to her emotional and mental issues.
If all hurdles are cleared, the medical examiner in California will complete the autopsy, then her brain will transported to Dr. Omalu’s office.
Anzaldo added that his camp is not interested in being part of ongoing concussion lawsuits against WWE. “We’re not interested in the lawsuit at all,” he said. “We’re just looking for (the researchers) to give us everything they can get.”
As detailed earlier this week, Laurer was found dead in her California apartment with bottles of sleeping and anxiety medication found near her. Anzaldo added to the N.Y. Daily News that he was actually filming scenes for her documentary when he walked into her apartment, unaware that she apparently died in her sleep.
“Me walking in was shot. I would never show me finding her, but you might hear me,” Anzaldo said. “Now we’ll hopefully show the brain getting examined and what the doctor has to say about that. It will be done in a respectful way. She gave us the content she gave us … It’s all for her fans.”
Anzaldo essentially confirmed they are going forward with the documentary Laurer took part in and was filming up until her death.
“My only solace is that she obviously died in her sleep with no pain. She was alive one second and dead the next. It doesn’t look like there was a struggle for air,” Anzaldo said unofficially until the autopsy is completed.
Another person involved in the documentary, filmmaker Erik Angra, told the U.K.’s Daily Mail that Laurer left him a voice-mail on Sunday night detailing that she wanted to visit her doctor again to get more prescriptions.
“She was having a tough time the past couple of weeks and we all knew that and she was using more of her prescriptions than she should have been or mixing them up – I can’t say for sure exactly what she was doing,” Angra said.
“But I know we wanted to help her and we were trying to – but I guess we just weren’t able to help her in time. She left me a voicemail on Sunday night actually – it was a five-minute-long voicemail and she was saying she actually felt good and she wanted to see a doctor next week and get her prescriptions.”
Also on Friday, former NSync singer Joey Fatone talked to TMZ about Laurer’s final week. He said he talked to her within the past week and they were planning to get together soon.
Fatone added that he sensed Laurer was “having some trouble” with her health, but he did not know that “it had gotten that bad.”