Celebrity Deaths That Triggered Your Inner Hypochondriac

Celebrity Deaths That Triggered Your Inner Hypochondriac

I was trying to think of something to write about the death of Michael Johns.

I wrote about American Idol for five years or so, from about 2006-2011. Johns appeared on the seventh season of the show and the third season I recapped. That season, for me, was really the last great season of the show (OK, Adam Lambert was pretty spectacular in the eighth season, but that's about it), and Michael Johns was my hands-down favorite. He had a lovely voice, a pleasant demeanor, and he was a stone fox. I know most of the ladies loved themselves some David Cook during that season, but they could have him, as far as I was concerned. Michael Johns was the one for me.

He remains one of my top five favorite Idol contestants of all time, and I was horribly saddened to hear about his sudden death last week. (He was also the first Idol finalist to die, which is pretty remarkable, especially when you consider the basket cases who have come out of that show. You know who you are.)

The bizarre nature of his death (a twisted ankle that resulted in a blood clot making its way up to his chest) set off my inner hypochondriac, as so often happens when I hear about deaths where "If only he had acted sooner!" or "He ignored the warning signs!" accompany the obituary. I've been taking copious brain notes, cataloguing a list of ways not to die like Michael Johns. In Johns's case, he apparently did not ignore the warning signs (intense pain and a bruise making its way up his leg), and did act appropriately, but the doctors sent him home after giving him the all clear. So that's scary in and of itself.

Now I know that if I ever have a spreading bruise on my leg I will not take "not a blood clot" for an answer. That's official.

Are there any celebrity deaths that made you more aware of a rare physical ailment? Did Natasha Richardson's accident leave you checking your kids' pupils every five minutes after an innocent bump on the head?

And here's Michael Johns's sublime best performance on Idol (Dolly Parton's "It's All Wrong, But It's All Right")


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