Comedian Ralphie May died early in Las Vegas on Friday, according to TMZ. May had been battling pneumonia for the past six weeks and passed away after doing into cardiac arrest. He was just 45 years old.
May has been a part of the stand-up comedy scene since the early 2000s. In 2003, he competed on Last Comic Standing, finishing in second place. He has toured the world and has a couple of comedy specials.
He has struggled with his weight for many years. Although he underwent gastric bypass surgery, he still weighed upwards of 400 pounds in recent years, according to My Big Life.
This isn’t the first time that May has suffered from pneumonia. Back in 2011, May was in Tampa, Florida, heading out on a cruise to Mexico when he fell ill. While on the boat, May’s health declined rapidly, according to the Tampa Bay Times. When the boat docked back in Florida, he was rushed to the hospital. Doctors diagnosed him with pneumonia and found blood clots in his lungs.
In January 2012, May posted a lengthy health update on Facebook. You can read it in part below.
“Yes, you are all right… I am ****ing really fat. I have a very low metabolism and the estrogen in marijuana made it worse. I loved smoking weed, and may go back to it someday. Its positive effects for me weren’t to get high, but rather anxiety suppression, pain management, and stopping back spasms. I have a perfect storm of health problems and since I stopped smoking weed I have allowed my lungs to heal. I had two types of pneumonia and coughed major pulmonary embolisms, that almost killed me. The great medical staff of Tampa General Hospital saved my life.”
May was able to recover from the illness, but it took him several weeks to start feeling 100 percent.
Before his sudden passing, May was still touring. This past week, he had been doing shows in Las Vegas. One of his recent tweets (below) was about an upcoming show in Cleveland, Ohio.
May is survived by his two children. He and his ex-wife, Lahna Turner, split in 2015.