According to reports, beloved voice actor Christopher Ayres has died aged 56.

The star revealed that he had an illness back in 2017, but what was the diagnosis and could it have contributed to Ayres’ cause of death? We’re breaking down everything that you need to know.

Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for FUNimation Entertainment

Actor’s death announced

Actor Chris Ayres’ girlfriend, fellow voice actor Krystal LaPorte, announced the sad news of his passing.

LaPorte shared: “On October 18th at 8:40 pm, my world went dark.

“Christopher Owen Ayres passed away peacefully, held close by his mother, brother, and girlfriend.

“I hope that wherever you are, the first thing you did was take a long, deep breath with your perfect lungs and danced again.”

Ayres, who started his acting career at age six, was notable in the anime community for voicing Dragon Ball character Frieza and had over 200 credits as a voice actor.

Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for FUNimation Entertainment

Chris Ayres’ cause of death and diagnosis explained

Although an official cause of death was not disclosed by Krystal LaPorte in her statement, it is well known that Ayres suffered with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

According to Sportskeeda, the actor was diagnosed with COPD in November, resulting in a double lung transplant a few years back and additional surgeries on his lungs.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a progressive lung disease that causes inflammation in the lungs and is not usually diagnosed until the end stages, as was the case for Chris.

Symptoms include chronic coughs with mucus, shortness of breath, and general trouble with breathing.

After the initial transplant in 2019, Christopher tweeted: “I got my lung transplant on October 31st, 2019 after almost two years of being on the transplant list.”

A GoFundMe page was also set up following the transplant, where Ayres explained: “I still require a battery of 41 pills a day, with additional breathing and nebulizer treatments. I also require a continuous supply of medical masks, and sanitizing products.”

Fans pay tribute to Chris Ayres

Following the sad news of Ayres’ death, fans took to social media to pay tribute.

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