Former Vikings safety dead of ALS at 42
Former Minnesota Vikings safety Orlando Thomas has died of complications from ALS. He was 42.
Thomas was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2007. He died on Sunday night in his hometown of Crowley, Louisiana. The death was confirmed by the Vikings. Thomas was a hard-hitting starter for seven seasons for the Vikings, the last one coming in 2001. He led the NFL in interceptions with nine as a rookie in 1995.
As ALS began to destroy his body, Orlando Thomas lost his ability to move. Then he could no longer speak. His wife, Demetra, guided him through every painstaking word.
The Vikings issued a statement expressing their sadness and condolences to his family.
“He represented the franchise and the state of Minnesota with the utmost dignity and class,’’ the team said. AP