Ex-Viking Orlando Thomas dies from ALS during age 42

November 10, 2014 - als



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    Orlando Thomas, a standout defensive behind for a Minnesota Vikings during some of their best seasons in a late 1990s, has died after a formidable conflict with ALS, his representative pronounced Monday.

    Number 42 for a Vikings, his usually group for his 7 NFL seasons, was 42 years aged and vital in his local Crowley, La., during a time of his death.

    “This was a harmful approach for it to happen,” pronounced representative Mark Bertelstein, referring to a amyotrophic parallel sclerosis — mostly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease — that took Thomas’ life after a 10-year fight. “But it was inevitable.”

    Bertelstein pronounced Thomas showed implausible bravery while bum and weighed distant reduction than a 225 pounds while personification giveaway reserve as a Viking until he late after a 2001 deteriorate during age 29.

    “To watch what he went by given he came down with this disease,” Bertelstein said, “never display an unit of self-pity. He never wanted to pronounce about his plight.”

    Thomas eventually mislaid his ability to speak, relying on his mother and blinking letters to promulgate with others, Bertelstein said.

    “He desired being a Viking,” a representative said. “He was such a large partial of that run they had, those teams,” many particularly a 1998 and 2000 teams that reached a National Football Conference pretension game.

    A matter expelled Monday morning by a Vikings read, “Orlando was an superb actor for a Vikings for 7 years, though some-more importantly, he represented a authorization and a state of Minnesota with a pinnacle grace and class. While his effusive celebrity done him a favorite among his teammates, Orlando’s impasse in a village done him a favorite outward of Winter Park.”

    The group remarkable how Thomas fought his illness “with persistence and optimism. Throughout his formidable battle, he refused to concede ALS to conclude him, instead putting others’ needs in front of his and focusing on creation those around him smile.”

    Drafted out of a University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1995 in a second round, a 42nd altogether pick, Thomas done an evident impact on entering a NFL in 1995. He fast warranted a starting mark and led a joining in interceptions with nine.

    He started 82 of 98 career games for a Vikings, intercepting 22 passes. He scored 4 touchdowns, dual on fumbles and dual on interceptions.

    Thomas suggested in Jun 2007 that he was pang from ALS, ordinarily famous as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Before descending ill, Bertelstein said, Thomas had dictated to join a staff of his former Vikings coach, Denny Green, when Green was with a Phoenix Cardinals.

    Funeral arrangement for Thomas were pending.

     

    Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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