The world was shocked by the sudden death of the Taiwanese-Canadian model and actor Godfrey Gao after he collapsed while filming a Chinese variety show that has teams competing to win a race. The show, known as Chase Me, involved lots of physical activity and Godfrey was invited to be a guest participant, with shooting commencing in Ningbo.
According to Oriental Daily, the actor was running halfway while shooting around 2am on Wednesday (November 27th) when he suddenly shouted, “I can’t do it,” before he collapsed on the ground. It was reported that at first, staff thought it was part of the program but realised something was wrong so the medical team quickly rushed in.
There were reports saying that his heart had stopped beating but started again a few minutes later, and Godfrey was immediately rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately, after close to three hours of medical care, they could not revive the 35-year-old actor, BBC reported.
He was pronounced dead and the hospital said that the cause of death was sudden cardiac death, a statement from the network said. Godfrey had always been healthy and loved sports, and was essentially a man in his prime. However, Fang Cheng-Chung, the chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at National Taiwanese University Hospital speculated that the sudden cardiac death experienced by Godfrey was likely caused by overwork and staying up late.
He said that overwork and staying up late cause a lot of stress to the body, which can lead to an elevated amount of stress hormones which can cause high blood pressure, vasoconstriction and heart rhythm disturbances. Added together with a lack of sleep over a period of weeks or months, this can culminate in an acute cardiovascular event even though the person frequently exercises and eats a balanced diet.
Based on a report by Sohu, they stated that people who worked on the program said that filming Chase Me was very intense and strenuous. Participants would often need to work from 8.30am until midnight from 5am to 6am. They would need to perform activities such as night running and high-intensity physical activities, which undoubtedly strains the body.
This is not the first time that Zhejiang Television, the television channel responsible for Chase Me, has been involved in a scandal. Previously, Zhang Jie, a Chinese pop singer participated in variety show Ace vs Ace and he suffered from facial bruising due to the carelessness of the company. Another time, a diving assistant of Chen Xiaolong drowned during a diving reality show.
Dr Fang advises the public to take care of their health by not working for long hours or staying up too late. He said that this was especially relevant to those who have a history of heart disease at home and recommends that they go for health checks regularly.
RIP, Godfrey. You will be sorely missed.
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