Man Dies of Heat Stroke in Palm Springs After Organs Fail Due to 119 F Heat

A 55-year-old man died from heat-related complications while visiting Palm Springs, California, for the weekend.

Geoffrey-Martin Cyr passed away on Saturday after the mercury in the city, located in the Sonoran Desert of Southern California, had reached 119 degrees on Friday—one of the hottest days of the year so far—KESQ reported.

Cyr was seen lounging by a pool on Friday afternoon, with friends telling KESQ that he had been lying outside for more than an hour.

"The soles of my sneakers literally melted off of my foot," Palm Springs resident Jill Langham, who was a friend of Cyr, told KESQ.

Langham was planning on going for a drink with Cyr later that day, but the meeting never went ahead.

Langham showed KESQ the last messages she received from Cyr on Friday. One read: "Hey you: I'm walking down Cabrillo's and so winded! Will explain when I see you, inching my way towards Hunters! See you there."

But on the way to Hunters, a local bar, Cyr collapsed on one of the back streets. He had also thrown up a couple of times previously.

"I don't really know exactly how soon he was found," Langham said.

Cyr was rushed to hospital by paramedics. Medical staff there said his organs were failing as his blood pressure dropped due to extreme heat stroke. Despite their efforts, doctors were unable to save him.

"His body temperature was at 105," Langham said. "They were unable to cool his body, and he succumbed to death on Saturday evening."

Extreme heat is currently one of the top weather-related causes of death in the United States, Rachel Licker, a senior climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, previously told Newsweek.

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness, occurring when the body becomes unable to to control its own temperature. During heat stroke, the body's temperature can rise to 106 degrees or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. This can result in death or permanent disability if the individual in question doesn't receive emergency treatment.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC,) the symptoms of heat stroke can include confusion, an altered mental state and slurred speech; loss of consciousness; hot, dry skin or profuse sweating; seizures; and very high body temperature.

Additional symptoms can also include nausea and vomiting; rapid breathing; a racing heart; and headache.

Langham said that speaking out about Cyr's death could help others to stay safe this summer.

"I do believe that this could have been prevented, and it's just killing my heart," Langham said. "If you're feeling weak, if you're feeling exhausted, I'm not sure that's the time to be taking walks or going out to a pool."

Cyr was born in Augusta, Maine, on August 7, 1965, according to an obituary in the Portland Press Herald. He moved to Los Angeles in 1987 to work in the entertainment industry in human resources.

He was active in the LGBTQ community and was involved in activism to raise awareness and money for the fight against HIV/AIDS.

"Geoffrey was known by family and friends for his generous spirit, quick wit, ready smile and most importantly his thoughtfulness," the obituary read. "While his family and friends are heartbroken at his loss, we will treasure the memories we have shared with this amazing force of nature who made such a huge impact on so many lives."

Palm Springs, California
Stock image showing Palm Springs at sunrise, with Mount San Jacinto in the background. A man died in the city on Saturday after suffering heat stroke. iStock

Editor's pick

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts