The wife of the late Brodie Lee, Amanda Huber, has detailed the timeline of his passing – revealing the heartbreaking details of the former TNT Champion’s illness and how AEW has looked after the Huber family since.
Amanda Huber details the timeline of Brodie Lee’s illness, from seeing the first signs something was wrong all the way to his passing, noting the incredible story of how Cody Rhodes and Big E made a point of being there to help her tell Brodie Lee Jr about his father’s passing, and how Shawn Spears, Tyler Breeze and Peyton Royce would all drive to the Mayo Clinic to say goodbye too.
Speaking with Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards on the AEW Unrestricted podcast, Amanda Huber bravely opened up about why she decided to do the podcast before, saying, “I wanted to clarify the timeline because there’s been a lot of questions.”
“I know I don’t have anybody any answers or explanation but, at the same time, I know people care and I know that there’s a lot of questions and we kept it so quiet and tight to the chest that watchful, even people who were very, very close to us, that were completely knocked on their ass by this.”
Posting on Instagram, Brodie Lee’s wife had confirmed in December that he passed away due to a “non Covid-related lung issue” after a long, hard-fought battle – paying tribute to everyone at All Elite Wrestling for their support in her message. Since then, many outlets and journalists have taken it upon themselves to “ask questions” and speculate on the death of Brodie Lee and Amanda Huber has disclosed details of his passing to clarify the timeline and clear up any questions.
“Monday came along and he’s like, ‘I’ve got a podcast tonight, you’ve got to leave me alone. I’ve got to have dinner. Just be quiet.’
“He went in the garage. We have our Peleton in the garage, he came in and he’s like, ‘I quit my ride.’ I was like, ‘That’s not like you.’ Because he’s always making fun of me and I’d be doing my Peleton ride and I’m like, ‘That was awful,’ he’s like, ‘Come on, you p***y, you can do better.’ Giving me a hard time. He had never quit a ride before, he’d come in, head to toe, soaked but he had never quit a ride before. I was like, ‘You okay?’ ‘Yeah, I just feel like I can’t catch my breath.’ I have been COVID paranoid and I whipped out my thermometer. No fever, I’m like, that’s weird. You’re going to keep an eye on this. I asked if he could smell, and went through all that.
Huber and Edwards discuss going through the typical COVID symptoms, before Huber says Brodie Lee recorded AEW Unrestricted and everything was fine, but the next day, the same thing happened with his workout.
“We had dinner, he recorded the podcast and everything was normal. Tuesday, he tried to do his workout, did his workout, tried to do a Peleton ride, came in the house and was like, ‘I don’t know what the hell is going on, I can’t get this Peleton ride in.’ I was like, ‘Let me check your temperature again,’ and he was like, ‘I don’t have a fever, I don’t know what’s going on.’
Huber said Brodie Lee would typically drive to Jacksonville on Tuesday nights to he could check in, wrestle on Dynamite on Wednesday then return home on Thursdays at 3-4am, with Amanda telling him to rest without kids to get the response of the former Luke Harper saying he’d want to be home.
Huber says Lee drove to Jacksonville, got COVID tested through AEW and tested negative, but would be asked to stay away as Huber felt ill.
“Doc Sampson was like, ‘I don’t trust this. I know you don’t feel good, I don’t feel safe letting you in the bubble. Go home, come back next week.’ He text me saying, ‘I’m gonna come home.’ He drove home Wednesday. Went to go get COVID tested and he came home right at five when COVID testing ended.”
Amanda Huber then says she quarantined her husband in the bedroom on the off-chance he was at the starting point of COVID, and that he developed a “super-high fever” and that she kept him hydrated but he wasn’t eating.
“They diagnosed him with bronchitis and allergies. We were like, ‘That’s not what this is.’ He was like, ‘I feel like I have pneumonia.’ I was like, ‘Tell them that. He’s like, ‘No, they said it’s bronchitis.’ They gave him an antibiotic, an oral steroid and allergy medicine.”
“Saturday was the same deal, he was just not eating, he hadn’t eaten for several days but he was drinking. I told him, ‘As soon as you stop drinking, you’re going to the hospital. As soon as your fever goes to 103, you’re going to the hospital.’ His fever would tap out at 102.9. I would get furious, I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? You have to go to the hospital.’ He’s like, ‘It isn’t 103.’ ‘Dammit.’
Huber says, at that point, she tried to get Brodie Lee to hospital, but he said he wanted 24 hours on the antibiotic.
“So Sunday was awful. His face looked sunken in and I was like, ‘You need to go to the hospital. I’m done with it.'”
Amanda discloses that she “gave him an hour to make a miracle recovery” which didn’t happen, and they ended up going to hospital, but that her husband was struggling to walk unaided, using her shoulder to keep himself standing – and she tried to sit in a wheelchair, with no success.
“They take him back to triage and they take his temperature and, by that time, his fever has gone away. They took his oxygen, little pulse ox, the girl was like, ‘Hold on, let me get a new machine.’ Comes back with a new machine, takes his oxygen again, ‘That’s not right,’ comes back with third machine. Realises the machines aren’t broken. His oxygen was at 52. A normal person is supposed to be about 100, 95-100. Somebody with severe COPD or asthma, if they are in the middle of an asthma attack, they’re usuall usually around 85.”
Amanda says they put Brodie Lee on oxygen, but that the medical workers thought it had to be COVID, despite Brodie Lee getting a negative test in hospital, and the results from the previous COVID test showing the same result too.
“Every day, he seemed to being doing kind of okay, then he’d seem a little rocky, then kind of okay. Wednesday, they moved him to the ICU and the reason they told me they were moving him to the ICU is the floor we were on, the nurse ratio was like 6 to 1 and they were like, ‘We just want a better eye on him.'”
Amanda Huber continues that the nurse said it’s COVID and will come up as a positive test eventually, going on to say how a handful of people in AEW, at that point, knew what was going on because he got sent home. Chris Harrington, a long-time friend of Brodie Lee, reached out to offer help in the form of AEW’s HR department and, in particular, Legal Coordinator Margaret Stalvey. Huber praises Stalvey and AEW’s Chief Legal Officer Megha Parekh.
Huber said she didn’t want that as she “didn’t trust it” – admitting that she was wrong not to now – but stating how protective she was in maintaining the privacy of the situation.
Amanda then noted that every day, Jon Huber seemed to be getting a little worse , discussing the awful news they received on Halloween that Jon had to be transferred to either Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville or Shands in Gainesville, choosing the former due to Brodie Lee knowing people in Jacksonville through AEW.
“The doctor goes, ‘We need to transfer him, this is a matter of life and death. He needs to go on ECMO,’ which I’d never heard of before, ‘and needs a possible transplant.’ That’s the first I heard it – while I’m on the phone with these two people I’ve never met.”
Huber then says they made an almost instant decision to airlift Brodie Lee to Jacksonville, before sidestepping into a hilarious story about Brodie Lee Jr wanting to dress as Orange Cassidy for Halloween – much to her chagrin – and one of the last conversations she had with her husband.
“Brodie had been asking me for months – ‘I want to be Orange Cassidy for Halloween.’ ‘Brodie, nobody knows who the f**k Orange Cassidy is.’ No offence, Orange Cassidy, I love you.”
“I was like, ‘You’re going to go trick-or-treating and the parents are going to be like, ‘This kid is dressed in sunglasses and a denim jacket,’ so literally, I’m not even joking when I say one of the last spoken words my husband ever said to me was, ‘Go buy him a fucking denim jacket.’ Brodie was mad at me the night before because I wouldn’t go to Walmart at nine o’clock at night to buy him a denim jacket. I was telling Jon that story on Wednesday, or Friday – the day before Halloween – ‘Yeah, Brodie’s mad because I wouldn’t go buy him a denim jacket,’ and he goes, ‘I’m mad at you too’ behind the breathing mask. I go, ‘You’re mad at me?’ He goes, ‘Yeah,’ I go, ‘Why?’ And he goes, ‘Go buy the kid a f***ing denim jacket.'”
Huber goes on to say she went to buy the denim jacket, then decided to dress their younger son, Nolan, as Brodie Lee to cheer up Jon. Amanda says she kept everything real with Brodie Jr, but in eight-year-old terms as she didn’t want to lie to him.
Amanda goes on to say she took photos of the kids so she could show Jon them at hospital, but says she hugged Nolan goodbye and got a phonecall saying Jon had crashed and was intubated.
“They were like, ‘He’s crashed and he’s intubated.’ So went back up to the hospital and I walked into the room and… Garbage everywhere and it was horrifying to look at because he had the tube down his throat and it was awful. I couldn’t sit in the room with him, I waited in a conference room.”
Amanda Huber describes that moment as one of the worst of her life before discussing how Jon Huber was airlifted to Jacksonville – and jokes that was the first time she had ever been on a private plane and her view being her husband’s feet.
“We get to Jacksonville and we get an ambulance ride from Jacksonville Airport at the Mayo Clinic. While we’re in the ambulance, they are going about his oxygen levels and I’m sitting in the front like, ‘This is fine’ – all I could picture was the meme with the dog with the fire.”
Amanda reveals how she was forgotten about while sitting in the hallway having had no sleep, then says the doctors explained the process of ECMO.
“The doctors came to me and start explaining to me the process of ECMO, which is terrifying to hear about and it was terrifying to witness the very first day but essentially what ECMO is, is the way they explained it is dialysis for your lungs. So, what it is, it’s absolutely horrifying but you have a garden hose-sized tube coming out of your neck and one coming out of… You have one that goes straight to your heart and one coming out of the vein in your leg. What it does is it pulls the blood out of your leg, spins it through this machine and oxygenates it, then pumps it directly to your heart to go through the rest of your body.”
Amanda says AEW took care of her hotel the entire time she was there, revealing how Legal Coordinator Margaret Stalvey would send her food – and much more than she needed – and says she almost felt distrust towards AEW at that time, thinking they may have had an ulterior motive, but admits she couldn’t have been more wrong and that they’ve become extended family.
“He got put on the ECMO and the first day walking into that was a lot because just to see him with not only the ventilator tube down his throat but the ECMO cannulas, it was horrifying. After a while, I got used to it but it was a very… It is not a pleasant look. He was conscious, he was awake, very sedated.”
Huber goes on to pay incredible tribute to the Mayo Clinic nurses and staff.
“The staff at the Mayo Clinic were the most kind and compassionate, and incredible human beings on the planet. They do not get enough credit for what they did – not only taking care of my husband but they took care of me, too, and they were constantly checking in with me, talking to me and explaining everything that happened to me. They never once made me feel like I shouldn’t be asking that. Just everything along the way, they were incredible.”
Amanda Huber then goes on to pinpoint November 9th as the day she opened up to AEW and asked everyone in the company to respect her privacy and stay quiet – which they would oblige.
“I think it was November 9, I came to talk to AEW. I had talked to Megha and Margaret, they were like, ‘If it’s okay with you, we’re going to let everyone know what’s going on. Is there anything you want us to say or not say?’ Everything that’s happened from, day one until now, including everything that’s happening with Brodie Lee Jr and -1, everything that’s happened along the way, everyone has always come to me and said, ‘Are you okay with this? Is this okay, is it not okay, what can we do better? Margaret and Megha were like, ‘We want to tell everyone what’s going on, what do you want out of this?’ I said, ‘I just want everyone to keep their mouths shut. That’s all I’m asking is I’m asking for discretion’ – because I can’t imagine being in my husband’s position and, at the time, we thought he was going to get better because he was showing signs of improvement.
“I thought for sure he would wake up and he would be furious to read on the dirt sheets that he was in hospital. So I was like, ‘All I ask is for everyone’s discretion.’ And she’s like, ‘Absolutely, you’ve got it.’ I said, ‘If you need me to go and speak in front of everybody and guilt the f*** out of them and they have to see my face and see me and see who is asking this of them.’ They were like, ‘We didn’t want to ask you do that but if you’re cool with it’ and I was like, ‘No, I will because I want them to keep their mouths shut.’ I know wrestling I’ve been around wrestling a long time and I fully expect it to hit the dirtsheets.
Huber and Aubrey Edward discuss how they would check Reddit every day and see rumours of an ankle injury, and potential storyline returns for Jon. Later saying she knew how much Jon meant to people in AEW and that she wanted people to know she wasn’t just trying to be secretive, but knew it’s what Jon would have wanted and felt like the right move.
Amanda Huber then goes on to say how, even at the Mayo Clinic, everyone thought it was COVID, and that she would have to wear full PPE while in the same room as her husband – heartbreakingly revealing how she would wish it was just to get an answer.
“Every COVID test came back negative. To the point where I was like, ‘Can we just get a positive one?’ Just so I could get a f***ing answer. ‘I just want an answer, that’s all I want.’ They did a bronchial wash at one point, and one doctor was telling that, at Mayo Clinic, they’ve had a couple of cases where people would test negative for COVID and then do a bronchial wash and they would find it residing deep in the lungs. They were like, ‘Oh, that’s what it’s going to be.’ Negative. Every f***ing test was negative.
Regarding the actual cause of death, Amanda Huber said she didn’t have the autopsy but revealed the official diagnosis.
Not 100% sure because I don’t have the autopsy report yet but I believe official diagnosis was idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis which literally means that his lungs scarred and the ‘idiopathic’ part means they don’t f***ing know why. They don’t know what happened to his lungs, but they know his lungs were just completely scarred over.
Huber says the doctors she has spoken with think it might have been pneumonia that got out of control or part of it.
“They think whatever fever he had was his body fighting off whatever infection was in his lungs. The problem is that his body doing the high fever he had for a couple of days basically attacked his lung tissue and just scarred it over. By the time we were in the hospital, there was no infection, everything was already out of his system but the leftover scar tissue was there. So, on x-rays and scans, your lungs are supposed to be, I believe, totally black on the scan and his were white. They were scarred over. That’s why they put him on the ECMO as a chance to have his body rest and not use his lungs and let his lungs just try and heal.”
Regarding a potential transplant, Huber says it was an option.
“The transplant actually was an option, so they had talked to me about a transplant the day I actually came to AEW, back on the ninth, I had signed to start the transplant process which was a very overwhelming moment and then that got picked up to go talk to AEW.”
Amanda Huber reveals how she filled out the paperwork for the transplant as Jon had showed signs of getting better, saying she has a video of him starting physical therapy and things were looking up – detailing that as being around her birthday – November 14th.
“They had performed a tracheotomy on him so they could remove him from the ventilator and then they put oxygen through his tube and he was able to wake up and he started, like, communicating with me and he’d smile and he’d wink at me, as he would mouth words at me. He couldn’t talk but he could mouth words.
“But because at that he had been in the hospital for a couple of weeks, was on a feeding tube, he was very malnourished, he was very weak, but he started on physical therapy and things were looking up. Then he got taken off the ventilator and put on straight oxygen. That’s kind of day that things started going bad. He had a really good day that day and that was the next step was to take him off the ventilator – so the machine that was breathing for him – and just have him on oxygen. We were super-hopeful and he had a panic attack while on the oxygen, and pretty much, from that day on, things went to s***. This was the end of November.”
Huber says she spent the entire month of November in Jacksonville, which saw her kids come to AEW shows, saying she spent thanksgiving with Megha from AEW.
However, Amanda says the end of November started to signal a decline and every day brought more bad news.
“Every day was filled by bad news. They warned me when we started ECMO that ECMO was a long process and there would be days where it would be two steps forward and one step back, and days where it was three steps backwards but then it would be a step forward. So she’s like, ‘It’s kind of a side-shuffle with ECMO. So I was prepared for ups and downs but, starting in December, it kind of went downhill and it was consistently downhill.”
Huber says, at that point, she was copying and pasting text updates to several people in AEW, stating that Jon’s declining health meant they’d revisit the possibility of a lung transplant before a doctor said, “We need a lung transplant or end-of-life care.”
Amanda says that the process of the transplant would be “completely life-changing” and would have meant Huber would have had to give up wrestling and would have been immunocompromised for the rest of his life – but that it was the only option that remained.
Brodie Lee would then get an infection in his lungs, Huber recalls, saying it was cause by a super-common bacteria but that Jon Huber was so immunocompromised at that point that it was detrimental to his health.
“Right around that time was my anniversary with Jon, 13th, his birthday is the 16th, and Brodie has been having a rough time,” Amanda continues, saying Brodie Lee Jr is “obsessed” with wrestling, and eats, sleeps and breathes wrestling, before revealing the kindness of Chris Jericho and a gesture to bring Brodie Lee Jr to Jacksonville..
“Jericho had said to me, ‘If you need anything at all, let me know. If you need to go back to Tampa, let me know, if you need the kids to come here, anything you need.’ I talked to Brodie and he was having a really rough time things, so I was like, ‘What do you want for Christmas? ‘I want dad home.’ I was like, ‘That’s not happening. Anything else?’ And he’s like, ‘I want to go to AEW.’ Ended up talking with Harrington and Margaret, and Megha, and Jericho – and put Brodie on Jericho’s private jet to come here to Jacksonville to just be here.”
Amanda Huber recounts that being Jon’s birthday, and the day a decision was being made regarding a transplant – but that she didn’t hear from the hospital. Huber said she knew that was a ‘no’ anyway, and goes on to say how they would have to start looking at end-of-life care. However, one doctor would say he wasn’t ready to give up and said he wanted to try exhaust every option before it went to that point.
Huber said she told the hospital she was going home for two days at Christmas and would call every day, but didn’t want to hear from them in order to give the children a normal Christmas – but received a call on Christmas Eve saying, “We need to do end-of-life.”
Following on from that, Amanda Huber says she would have a “normal” Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, before driving to Jacksonville overnight on Christmas and went to the hospital to start the paperwork the next day.
Amanda Huber also opened up about how several wrestlers would get to say goodbye to Jon, and that she had called Cody Rhodes and Big E to ask them to help her break the news to Brodie Lee Jr.
“I had been really close with Cody throughout this process and I know it’s been out there before of how Brodie Lee Jr, his best friend in the world since he was two years has Big E from WWE. I call them both on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and I said, ‘Hey, I have a huge favour to ask of you.’ I said, ‘If you guys want to say no, you can say no. I want you guys to be with me when we tell Brodie.’ Because I wanted him to be safe and that was the worst part of all this, telling your eight year old, ‘Hey, your favourite person in the world, your hero, he’s going to die today.’ How do you crush somebody?
“So I had called Cody and Big E, and Cody had drove in from Atlanta at eight in the morning. That’s the type of human being Cody is. And I will never be able to thank him enough for everything. He’s gone above and beyond.”
Amanda Huber went on to say how Cody shares a “unique perspective” and how Brodie Lee Jr hadn’t experienced a lot of tragedy with family members passing away – but had met Dusty and Dusty would play with him.
“Cody has the perspective of having your dad be this larger-than-life WWE Superstar. Also, it’s your dad. So, I said to Cody, I said, ‘I want you by Brodie’s side throughout this – if you’re okay with it. If it’s too much, please, tell me, I’m not going to be offended. He said, ‘No, I’ve got you.’ Cody and Big E came up to the hospital, got to see Jon because, in his final day… In comfort care, you’re only allowed one visitor in the hospital but once you get moved to end-of-life care, you’re allowed more visitors to come say goodbye. Like I said, Megha and Margaret came, Margaret prayed, just a beautiful moment.”
Amanda would go on to say how Shawn Spears, Tyler Breeze and Peyton Royce made a point of being there, too.
“Cody and Big E came up, got to see him. Spears, Tyler Breeze and Spears’s wife Cassie [Peyton Royce] – they’re three of our best friends, Jon and I, they came up to the hospital. I called them that day and was like, ‘Hey, today is it. Sorry, guys.’ They were like, ‘We’re in the car now.’ I like, ‘You don’t have to come up,’ and they were like, ‘No, we do.’ So they came up to the hospital and I brought the three of them into the room while while walked back to the hotel with Cody and Big E to tell Brodie.”
The podcast would conclude with Amanda talking about how AEW have been there ever since the passing of her husband, and that the Brodie Lee Tribute Show would actually end up being Jon Huber’s funeral – and the ultimate celebration of life.
“So, we didn’t [have a service], because of COVID and after being in the hospital with him and – he didn’t have COVID – knowing ECMO is how they treat patients with COVID and seeing the devastation, I was like, ‘We can’t do this.’ So his AEW celebration of life, that was his funeral. The outpouring of love from the wrestling community has been unreal. The amount of people from every corner of the wrestling world have reached out to me and had their stories about Jon and all of that has been kind of breathtaking to hear the stories and how he touched people, and I would have loved to have done a funeral but I just can’t. I can’t risk anybody else’s public health, so the AEW show that was put on, that was his send-off and that was his funeral, that was a way of saying goodbye to him, and I thought it was so beautiful.”
One final note Amanda Huber had was regarding criticisms of AEW putting Brodie Lee Jr on television, saying those comments anger her.
“I get really, really fucking angry if I see anybody was like they are exploiting the family, they are going above and beyond to let an eight-year-old live his favourite thing in the world and have this connection with his dad. I promise you, if Brodie didn’t want to do this, if he decided tomorrow he hated wrestling, we’d walk away.”
You can listen to the entire podcast here.