Graham, who had a liver transplant some 10 years ago after his own liver failed due to years of excessive steroid abuse and complications from Hepatitis C, has had problems with his health for years. There was concern last year that Graham would have to have his liver replaced but according to recent reports the liver is functioning normally.
Doctors told Graham that the source of his problem was most likely Atrial Fibrillation or an irregular heart beat. A heart that beats out of control can cause breathing problems, fainting and even stroke. Treatment options include taking anticoagulants (blood thinners to prevent stroke) and beta blockers or calcium channel blockers to control the heart rate. Doctors can also shock the heart lightly to try and bring it back to a normal rhythm.
Graham was a mainstay in the WWWF and defeated Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF World Championship and was used primarily as a transitional champion dropping the belt to Bob Backlund. There are many, including Graham, who thought he could have been MONEY for the WWWF had they kept the title on him longer. During the course of his title run Graham would wrestle NWA World Champion Harley Race in Florida in a champion v. champion match that went to a one hour draw and was considered one of the greatest matches in Graham's career.
After leaving the WWWF Graham would go to Florida and later to Jim Crockett Promotions in the Carolina's and would eventually make his way back to the WWF but his relationship with the company and CEO Vince McMahon would become strained after Graham spoke out against McMahon at the height of McMahon's trial on steroid distribution charges.
Graham won a number of titles and awards over the course of his career including being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame after he and McMahon mended their fences. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter would include Graham in their Hall of Fame as well. Graham has indicated that he will be buried next to Eddie Guerrero at Green Acres Cemetary in Arizona and in early 2011 doctors said that Graham had maybe two years left due to his worsening condition and liver complications due to his Hepatitis C.
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