From Darkness To Light

10 Oct 2022

Search and Rescue professional dies of heart attack following COVID-19 jabs

Posted by Adam Howell


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Search and rescue professional and City of Durango resident Leo Lloyd III died of a heart attack while mountain biking with one of his sons on August 4, 2022. He had received numerous COVID-19 jabs, his brother said.

Search and rescue professional Leo Lloyd.

photo borrowed without permission

At the age of 60, Lloyd will be known for how kind and caring he was for his friends and family, his brother Joe Lloyd said.

“He’s just a good guy,” said Lloyd. “If you were ever to go climbing with him and he was teaching you how to belay or clip in or whatever it was, that’s really the only time he really had patience with me. He could get frustrated with a lot of stuff that I do. But man, if he was ever going to teach me about safety, this switch was flipped and it just went to this hardcore caring way of relaying the message of being safe. Whether it was me or anyone else, he would always treat everybody the same. It was pretty cool because he was always about being safe first.”

“Every month we’d get together for family dinners and stuff like that,” his brother Joe Lloyd said about their relationship. “Get together for the occasional bike ride and mountain bike ride.”

“We knew as a family, though–Leo had so many friends and mentored so many people–we knew we had to share him,” Lloyd said. “There’s always those things where you go, I wish we would’ve done more biking with him. He was out biking and climbing with a lot of people, almost daily.”

“I don’t have a whole lot of regrets with Leo,” his brother Joe said. “He was my older brother by six years. I looked up to him. He set a good example. What hard work, grit and grime, what it takes. He worked so hard, but he wasn’t in a profession that hard work translated into riches as far as tons of money. That’s not what his life was about. His life was about saving lives. That’s what he woke up every day thinking about. Whether it be with the search and rescue department, or the fire department, or the other company that he worked for Rigging for Rescue, or the trips he took to Canada and to Mt Everest to train Sherpas to rock climb and do all the stuff that he did over the years. He dedicated his life to it. That’s all he did.”



Search and rescue professional received and believed in the COVID-19 vaccine

Leo’s brother Joe said that Leo had taken the COVID-19 vaccine and several boosters. However, he did not think that it played a role in Leo’s death, he said.

“He was an advocate for that, (the COVID-19 vaccine)” said Lloyd. “He landed heavily on the health care side.”

Search and rescue professional Leo Lloyd

photo borrowed without permission

“This whole heart thing had probably been building up over several years,” he said.

“I’d be a little more suspicious if it was an aneurysm or a blood clot, but it wasn’t any of that,” Lloyd said.

“He’s always passed his physicals with flying colors,” said Lloyd. “He did have a little bit of high cholesterol. Pretty much all of us do. He was loosing a step, he said. Just kind of having a little bit harder time breathing.”

“I just don’t think he comprehended that his heart was why. Maybe he had asthma. I kind of heard bits and pieces of that kind of stuff over the last couple of years. It was probably obviously his heart condition that was causing him the issues. It wasn’t what he thought. But, when you go to get a physical, and nothing shows up, without anything telling you what’s wrong, it’s hard to know what’s going on.”

“There’s been several family members who have had heart attacks. We don’t know what they look like. Nobody knows if they were the same type of heart attack that Leo had. Most of things happened between 20 to 30 years ago with my granddad or his brothers or his uncles. We just know that we have a history on my mom’s side of the family. We just have to be careful. I’m a lot more intentional about checking that stuff out.”

“If it happened to Leo, it can happen to any of us,” said Lloyd.

Leo would’ve gotten the COVID-19 jab with or without his employer requiring it of him, said Lloyd.

“He was an advocate for people to get boosted or whatever,” Lloyd said about his brother. “He would’ve got it regardless. It didn’t matter who he worked for.”

A service for Leo was held on August 30th at 4:00 p.m. at the Community Concert Hall.

Death Certificate of Leo Lloyd III

Leo Lloyd III Death Certificate

Autopsy Report for Leo Lloyd III

Leo Lloyd Autopsy Report

Adam Howell can be reached by clicking on this link to the contact page.



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