ESPN college football reporter Edward Aschoff, who died suddenly over the holiday, was diagnosed with pneumonia and a rare immune disease before his death, his fiancée Katy Berteau revealed on Twitter.
She said 34-year-old Aschoff was taken to the emergency room and diagnosed with multifocal pneumonia, but after failed antibiotic treatment, he was admitted back to the ER.
Tests and biopsies revealed that he had hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, or HLH, a rare immune system disease in which the body makes too many activated immune cells, according to the National Institute of Health.
Berteau said these overactive cells "attack itself and other healthy tissues," and within three days in intensive care, Aschoff died.
"I want to share the brightness that he showed, even up until the last day he was awake. He kept the doctors and nurses constantly laughing, and always made a point to thank them and tell them what a great job they were doing," Berteau tweeted.
Aschoff, a rising star in college football reporting, had been public about his health struggle, which he began tweeting about in November.
"For someone who never gets sick I've had some fever/cough/fatigue/flu thing for about two weeks now," he tweeted just before Thanksgiving.
But his condition only worsened. Aschoff passed away on his 34th birthday -- Christmas Eve -- just months ahead of his spring wedding.
Aschoff joined ESPN in 2011 as part of the SEC blog network, which covers the NCAA Southeastern Conference. During the past three seasons, Aschoff reported from college campuses across the U.S. for ESPN.com, SportsCenter, SEC Network and ESPN radio, ESPN reported. He was both a television and radio sideline reporter during games.
"We are very sorry to have to share the devastating news of the tragic passing of friend and ESPN colleague Edward Aschoff," ESPN said in a statement. "He died earlier today, his 34th birthday. Our thoughts are with his loved ones, including his fiancée, Katy."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.