The military autopsy of Navy SEAL candidate Kyle Mullen, a Manalapan resident who died hours after completing the grueling portion of SEAL training known as “Hell Week” in early Februaryrevealed pneumonia as the cause of death and indicated that the 24-year-old was left untreated until it was too late.
Regina Mullen, Kyle’s mother, received the report last week and shared the contents with the Asbury Park Press.
Written by US Army regional medical examiner Wendy Warren and dated May 2, the report painted a grim picture of Mullen’s final moments.
“This sailor had completed Hell Week and was being cared for by non-medical personnel to help meet his basic needs,” it reads. “He was in a wheelchair most of the time and couldn’t stand and walk on his own. He was reported to have coughed up/spit out red colored fluid that nearly filled a 36 oz. sports drink bottle.
‘I have to go to the hospital’: Ex-SEAL Candidate Describes His Own Hell Week In The Aftermath Of Kyle Mullen’s Death
“One of the other SEAL candidates had sought medical attention because he felt he was unable to breathe. When emergency services were called for that sailor, the deceased (Mullen) stopped responding. When the ambulance crew arrived, they turned their attention to sailor Mullen and took him to hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.”
The report calls the official cause of death “acute pneumonia due to Streptococcus pyogenes”. Streptococcus pyogenes is a group A streptococcal bacterium, which, according to the report, “is capable of causing multi-organ failure and cardiovascular collapse via toxic shock.”
The accompanying toxicology report came back negative for drugs.
The report confirms what Regina Mullen has been saying for months: that despite a serious respiratory illness, Kyle was not monitored or treated by medical staff. She said she also had a private autopsy performed that yielded the same conclusion as the military one.
Regina Mullen is a nurse, and she was candid that Kyle, who played football and basketball at Manalapan High School and later played football at Yale and Monmouth Universities, would have survived had he received immediate medical attention after Hell Week ended.
“I want the public to know what happened,” said Regina Mullen. “This was not right.”
A separate investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service into why Mullen was left untreated until it was too late is still ongoing.
Regina Mullen wants the Hell Week process reformed so that SEAL candidates are monitored and treated by medical personnel immediately after completing or ceasing training.
Although Kyle Mullen was pronounced dead at Sharp Coronado Hospital in San Diego, Regina Mullen said “he died in the arms of a 19-year-old, non-medical sailor” at the naval barracks.
US Rep. Andy Kim, whose 3rd district has been redesigned to include Manalapan from next year, wrote a letter to Sean O’Donnell on April 14, Acting Inspector General of the Department of Defense, seeking a separate investigation. Regina Mullen said Kim was told that this won’t be possible until the NCIS investigation is complete.
Regina Mullen also asked Kim to investigate why her son was taken to a public hospital while the other SEAL was referred to military medical personnel in distress.
“The curtain needs to be pulled back on this whole thing,” she said. “I’m not letting this go. It’s disgusting.”
Along with the autopsy report, Regina Mullen also received a condolence card from President Joe Biden.
“Four-and-a-half months later and it’s finally been recognized by the president,” she said. “That’s a shame.”
Jerry Carino is a community columnist for the Asbury Park Press, focusing on the interesting people of Jersey Shore, inspiring stories and pressing issues. Contact him at [email protected]
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Navy SEALs ‘Hell Week’ Autopsy Reveals Cause of Death of Kyle Mullen