Published November 20, 2014
Family friend Bill Horn said Monday that Ashley Harris died Saturday at Norman Regional Hospital. She was 29.
Horn says relatives don't know if she suffered a brain aneurysm or a stroke. He says an autopsy was pending.
Harris, a former standout for the Chicago Bears, was visiting Norman with his wife when she became ill.
Horn says Tommie and Ashley Harris married in January and were planning to hold their wedding reception in Oklahoma. They had two children, 3-year-old Tyson and 4-month-old Tinsley.
Her funeral is scheduled for Friday in New Orleans, where she grew up.
A stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain, according to the National Stroke Association (NSA). When this happens, brain cells begin to die, which can lead to brain damage.
When brain cells die during a stroke, the abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost – and this can include speech, movement and memory, according to the NSA.
A brain aneurysm is the ballooning-out of the wall of an artery in the brain, according to the American Heart Association. The wall may have been previously weakened by disease, injury or an abnormality present at birth. Aneurysms also may be caused or made worse by high blood pressure and can lead to strokes. They are deadly if they burst.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.