Knife After Death

Betty White’s Stroke Diagnosis After Death

Betty White died on the last day of 2021. Even though she was the highlight from the hit TV show The Golden Girls, her death at age 99 still was a shock to her legion of fans as her 100th birthday was only 18 days away. Betty White’s stroke diagnosis came from an event that occurred six days earlier.

In this post, we discuss Betty and how a stroke is diagnosed posthumously.

Betty White’s Stroke Diagnosis Question (TikTok Transcript)

This is a question posed to me about Betty White and how her death certificate was citing complications of a stroke.

Specifically, the question asked is how can you tell 6 days prior that someone had a stroke?

Well, first of all, let’s just say that you don’t need an autopsy to diagnose a stroke. You can make the diagnosis of stroke clinically which means by looking at the patient.

Additionally, you can do ahead Imaging MRI CT scan and you can see the stroke. So I have to presume that she had some symptoms of a stroke.

These symptoms would be weakness on one side of the body, arm & leg or both, facial drooping, loss of ability to speak, and cranial nerve abnormalities.

The truth is even if she had a stroke two years ago and she had deficits from that stroke then died at age 99, it’s very likely that the death certificate still would have said complications of a stroke. That’s because that is the predominant clinical process.

What happens when a stroke occurs?

Strokes can be caused by a number of factors, including blood clots that form in the brain and loss of blood flow occurs. This causes brain tissue to become damaged. When something blocks the blood flow to part of the brain, broken blood vessels are visible. Often times this is called a brain attack.

The medical terminology for a stroke is a cerebrovascular accident or CVA.

How is stroke diagnosed as cause of death?

Stroke can be diagnosed as the cause of death by looking at the patient’s symptoms, imaging results, and autopsy findings.

One of these imaging tests is an MRI. MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. MRI is a diagnostic test that uses strong magnets and radio waves to create images of the body’s organs and tissues.

If an MRI is used to diagnose a stroke, within one hour an MRI can provide X-Ray proof that the brain was damaged.

Betty White's Stroke Diagnosis - Photo credit Wikimedia
Betty White (photo credit Wikimedia)

Betty White was a talented actress, comedian, and writer. She was also known for her work on television, including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls, and Hot in Cleveland. She was loved by fans for her wit, warmth, and humor.

Who were some of the famous people that commented about White’s death?

After Betty passed many of Hollywood’s elite commented about her death including President Joe Biden, Ryan Reynolds, Robert Redford, Carol Burnett, and Clint Eastwood.

Betty White passed away from a stroke a few days after another famous TV celebrity, Bob Saget, apparently died from Covid-19 complications.


The symptoms of a stroke are often difficult to detect and can include the sudden onset confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding speech; severe weakness on one side of your body (especially if you’re right-handed), sweating even when resting which is unusual for someone who isn’t heavily exercising due sweatiness 

Bluish breathing pooling at night time may also indicate some type might be experiencing an emergency situation such as emesis – vomiting — so it’s important never assume anything when it comes to stroke.