The Taiwanese Canadian actor-model, 35, reportedly collapsed while filming a Chinese variety show called “Chase Me,” which requires participants to engage in intense physical activities such as obstacle courses, rope climbing and various other stunts.
Gao, who allegedly had an existing cold, worked for 17 hours straight prior to his death, beginning filming for the reality show at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 26.
He only stopped working around 1:45 a.m. on Nov. 27 after starting to feel some discomfort, according to CTWant.
In a leaked footage reportedly caught before his collapse, an exhausted Gao can be seen running and struggling to ascend a ramp.
Before fainting, he allegedly screamed repeatedly in Mandarin, “I can’t go on anymore!”
Gao, who suffered a cardiac arrest, was declared dead after nearly three hours of resuscitation at a hospital.
Later in the day, a physician from National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) said that his heart attack may have resulted from overwork and stress, United Daily News reported.
According to the physician, Gao’s stress led to a spike in adrenaline levels, which then raised his heart rate to a state called ventricular tachycardia (VT).
The physician pointed out that VT can occur even in the healthiest-looking person under tremendous stress.
“In the early hours of Nov. 27, our beloved Godfrey collapsed while filming on set,” Gao’s agency, JetStar Entertainment, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, following three hours of medical rescue efforts, he left us. We are very shocked and saddened and even until now find it impossible to accept.”
Following Gao’s death, fans took to social media to question the show’s safety standards, with many calling it to be canceled altogether.
“I’m more angry than anything about Godfrey Gao’s death because it was 100% preventable. That show better take responsibility for this and take proper measures to ensure the safety of future guests; or just cancel the show in its entirety. What happened on #ChaseMe is NOT okay,” one Twitter user wrote.
I’m more angry than anything about Godfrey Gao’s death because it was 100% preventable. That show better take responsibility for this and take proper measures to ensure the safety of future guests; or just cancel the show in its entirety. What happened on #ChaseMe is NOT okay.
CHASE ME HAS NO SAFETY REGULATIONS. LUCAS IS FIT AF TOO AND HE COULD BARELY BREATHE!!! AND NOW GODFREY GAO SUDDENLY PASSED AWAY FROM FILMING FOR 17 HOURS STRAIGHT?!? CANCEL THE DAMN SHOW!!!!!! https://t.co/5O8wbqcyfv
they need to cancel the show, absolutely. every guest is pushed to their limits, i remember videos of yuqi and lucas breathing really hard and almost on their knees for the extreme fatigue and godfrey gao died after collapsing. this is unacceptable. #ChaseMe