A Navy SEAL trainee was left struggling to breathe and coughing up blood before dying during the notorious 'Hell Week', a report revealed.
Kyle Mullen, 24, was pronounced dead from acute pneumonia and cardiac arrest in February this year, “in the line of duty, not due to his own misconduct,” according to the 320-page report.
The document, issued by the Navy’s Special Warfare Command, revealed that his heart was twice the size of a normal male adult.
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His classmates who took on challenges at the Naval Special Warfare Training Centre in Coronado, California, said he coughed large amounts of blood on the course.
They said his health significantly deteriorated in the last two days of the test and mentioned that he was struggling with breathlessness and weight gain from bloating.
According to the medical autopsy report, there was no performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) in Kyle's system.
His teammates said they didn't witness him using any steroids or PEDs, reports New York Post.
Staff and medical experts who analysed the findings said they were unsure whether steroids were used.
They referenced the report which stated that substances that were known to increase endurance and strength such as testosterone, Anastrobol and sildenafil — were found in the hopeful's belongings.
It was reported that the autopsy didn't feature a urine examination or blood tests which can display signs of banned materials.
Kyle's mother Regina Mullen said she met with Navy Officials ahead of the report being released on yesterday (Wednesday, October 13).
She begged them to publish that he had no PEDs in his system when he died.
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The mum said she has been trolled with "horrible" messages on Facebook with people branding Kyle a "cheater."
“I told them, ‘You already killed my son, you don’t need to tarnish his character,’” she added.
Head of Naval Special Warfare Command Rear Adm. Keith Davids, said: “Our deepest sympathy extends to Seaman Mullen’s family and friends during this difficult time.
“NSW remains committed to transparency and we welcome the opportunity to review our assessment and selection programs, and help us look for additional ways to improve and prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again.
“Kyle’s death will not be in vain.”
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