Edward Aschoff, former Sun writer, dies at age 34

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Edward Aschoff, a former sports reporter at The Sun from 2007-11, died Tuesday. [File]

Edward Aschoff, who worked as The Sun’s recruiting beat writer for UF football, basketball and baseball from 2007 to 2011, before moving on to greater heights at ESPN, died on his 34th birthday Tuesday after a long illness.

His colleagues at ESPN wrote a fine tribute that was published Tuesday night. You can find it here.

 

17 COMMENTS

  1. While an official cause of death has not yet been reported, it is known that he had been battling bilateral pneumonia for several weeks. His last IG post on Dec.4th referenced it when he said that, “Pneumonia is the worst.” It is believed he may have contracted it at the Ohio State vs. Michigan game. Two weeks prior to the OSU/UM game he had been fighting a respiratory virus when he worked that game in extremely cold and windy conditions. His health only deteriorated after the game until he was soon diagnosed with and began treatment for pneumonia. His parents are both educators. His dad is a professor at Ole Miss and his mom is a special education teacher in the local public school system there. He was engaged to Katy Berteau whom he met while both were attending UF. They were to be married in April of 2020. While living in Gainesville he did a relentlessly outstanding job of covering UF recruiting for the Sun before moving on to bigger and better things after graduation in 2008. Before leaving Gainesville, he mentored the next UF student who would soon take over the recruiting beat for the Sun, Zach Abolverdi. Ed was first hired by ESPN in 2011 to cover SEC football while living in Atlanta. He has been living in Los Angeles since 2017 when his duties broadened to include nationwide college football coverage including live TV.

  2. Edward’s fiancée provided an update on Edward’s cause of death today. When he was admitted into the hospital he was diagnosed with bilateral pneumonia. However additional bone marrow tests and biopsies caused the medical team to add a diagnosis of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). HLH is a rare disease of the immune system. It is most often seen in babies and young children. However, adults can occasionally get it in which case it known as “acquired HLH.” When this happens it is most commonly due to viral infections, most often Epstein-Barr virus; other infections from bacteria or fungi; some types of cancer, such as T-cell lymphoma; autoimmune diseases; or medicines that suppress the immune system like chemotherapy. If you have HLH, your body’s immune system does not work normally. Certain white blood cells — histiocytes and lymphocytes — attack your other blood cells compromising your immune system and forming abnormal blood cells. So it would seem that Edward first had some type of respiratory virus which then became pneumonia which, in turn, finally triggered HLH. Unfortunately, HLH is often fatal and can result in death in a short time. It is usually treated with some combination of anti-inflammatory medicines, antibiotics, antivirals, immunotherapy and/or chemotherapy. When all else fails, a stem cell transplant into the patient’s bone marrow is indicated and is usually life saving. I don’t know how Edward’s team chose to treat him only that they had added a presumptive diagnosis of HLH shortly before his death.

    Katy also tweeted today that, during his final day awake, Edward was still upbeat, laughing and joking with his care team, which was his way throughout life. A small service for him will be held in Oxford, MS where he grew up, and a larger main service will be held in Atlanta where he had lived for most of his years while working for ESPN before moving to LA in 2017. Details for both services are still being finalized.

    • Thanks for that update, Gatordoc. You don’t hear about healthy adults dying from pneumonia very often these days, so I think a lot of people were curious about some other underlying condition, and now this explains it. For myself, I wanted to know if there was something to learn for future self awareness or advice to give to loved ones, but indeed it was a rare disease. It just goes to show that we never know when or where our days will end. We should live our lives to the fullest and treat others well. It sounds like Edward lived his short life well.

      • Your second to last statement says it all, Patrick. If there’s a meaningful take-away from losing a precious life so young — I know you’ve seen far too much of that as have I — it’s “goce la vida, goce las mas” and treat everyone you meet as you would want to be treated yourself.

        His sense of humor right to the end bespeaks a life well lived.