NBA player and free agent Lamar Odom is devastated over the death of his best friend, Jamie Sangouthai, on Sunday. Odom visited Sangouthai’s grieving mother, Christine, on Wednesday, and reportedly has been leaning on family and friends for support.
"Lamar just found out the results and is even more devastated," a source told Us Weekly on Thursday, referring to Sangouthai’s cause of death. "Because he didn't know Jamie was suffering so much and using needles."
Sangouthai, 37, died from necrotizing faciitis, a flesh-eating bacterial skin infection contracted from IV drug abuse. The disease is rare but can spread quickly, and 25 percent to 30 percent of reported cases in the U.S. lead to death.
“Necrotizing fasciitis spreads like wildfire through the body,” New York City-based surgeon Dr. Norman Rowe said to the New York Post on Thursday. “In a matter of hours, it can go from a very innocuous little pimple on your leg or arm to [landing you] in the ICU. When it gets very bad, it sends the patient into multi-system organ failure. It shuts down the liver and kidneys.”
“He’s taking it really bad,” the source added to Us Weekly, confirming that Odom's estranged wife Khloé Kardashian (the two are not yet officially divorced) has been right by his side. "She's been a major support for him," the insider explained. "They talk all day long and she calls almost every hour to check in on him."
Sangouthai had been friends with the couple for years, and even made a few appearances on 2011’s “Khloé & Lamar” reality series on E!. Sangouthai often disagreed with Khloé on the show.
A fundraising page was set up for Sangouthai by his former classmates from Christ the King High School in Queens on Wednesday. The project hopes to help Sangouthai’s mother bring her deceased son home.
"As most of you know, our good friend and CK classmate has passed away," two of his classmates wrote on the GoFundMe page. "Jamie Sangouthai will be missed by so many. Unfortunately, there aren't enough funds to bring him home. I spoke to his childhood friend Leo [Penizzotto] and we are doing a fundraiser to help his mom give him a proper burial."