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General Hospital

PORT CHARLES Star David Gail’s Cause of Death Revealed

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The soap world was heartbroken when PORT CHARLES actor David Gail (Joe) passed away on Jan. 16 at the age of 58. And now, new details regarding his cause of death have been revealed.

A statement from Gail’s publicist on behalf of his family told People that the actor died “from anoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, a brain injury resulting from lack of blood, following resuscitation from cardiopulmonary arrest due to drug intoxication from substances including amphetamines, cocaine, ethanol, and fentanyl.”

The statement also included a message from Gail’s mother, Mary Painter. “It breaks my heart to learn that my son died this way,” she said. “David became reliant on medicine many years ago, after multiple surgeries on his hands and wrists. He lived in enough pain to prevent him from working for almost a decade, with relief only achieved through full disability, physical therapy, and pain medicine.

“He struggled to stop taking pharmaceuticals and did before turning toward a more Eastern pain management including acupuncture and natural medicines,” she continued. “I can only assume that his former opioid dependence played a part in self-medicating from uncontrolled sources.”

Gail’s mother hopes that being open about her son’s cause of death will help bring additional awareness to the ongoing opioid crisis.

“David’s death shines a light on the countless innocent victims of pharmaceutical addiction and the fentanyl epidemic that has taken so many of our sons and daughters,” she concluded. “Please keep David, and others battling pain or dependence, in your thoughts and prayers.”

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