*It was 3 o’clock last Friday morning when Alicia Duerson’s iPhone flashed with a text message from her ex-husband Dave Duerson in Florida.

She was confused when she woke up and read the words.

“The text said that he loved me and he loved the kids and for me to love the kids,” she recalled. “And that he thought there was something wrong with the left side of his brain and for me to please get his brain to the NFL.”

She sent the text to her son, Tregg, and together they tried to get a hold of Dave Duerson, but there was no answer. Hours later, his body was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the chest.

Despite a well-publicized domestic dispute, divorce and personal bankruptcy, his family believes it was his failing health that led the former Pro Bowl Safety for the Chicago Bears to take his own life.

“He was tortured inside,” she said.

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