Cody Dorman’s Cause Of Death, Obituary, Family, Parents, Health Condition, Disease, Wikipedia, Biography

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What happened to Cody Dorman? The teenager whose name inspired the Cody’s Wish horse has been confirmed dead aged 17. How he died, and his biography explored.

Fanatics of horse racing must have been aware of Cody’s Wish, which is a horse named after Cody Dorman.

When Cody first met the horse as a foal, he laid his head in Cody’s lap which is when it was decided that he should be named after him.

In November 2023, the young boy who suffered a genetic disorder, died aged 17 after watching the horse win a second Breeders’ Cup. Here’s everything we know about him.

Cody Dorman died aged 17 after watching the horse win a second Breeders' Cup
Cody Dorman died aged 17 after watching the horse, named after him, win a second Breeders’ Cup

Who was Cody Dorman?

Cody Dorman was a teenager from Richmond who suffered from a rare genetic disorder.

He became well-known for his love of horses – passing away after watching a race with a horse named after him.

The amazing bond that Cody and the five-year-old wonderhorse named in his honour is the stuff of Hollywood fairytales.

Brave Cody, who communicated with those around him by using a tablet, was born with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a genetic disorder that robs a person of their ability to walk or speak.

Five years ago, his life changed while on a Make-A-Wish trip to Godolphin’s Gainsborough Farm in Kentucky.

There, while being shown the horses, he met an unnamed foal with whom he immediately built a connection.

As soon as Cody and the foal met they formed a bond that left everyone there awestruck.

Danny Mulvihill, farm manager at Gainsborough, relived the encounter to the LA Times.

He said: “The foal just came out and took a look at the wheelchair and Cody, and took a second look and inched closer and never gave us a cause for concern. And he just kept inching closer until his nose was right there.

“He was nuzzling Cody’s hand and then his head went into Cody’s lap. Every part of this story has come together and fallen into place from the word go and could have gone several different directions at any one time. But for everything to keep lining up and ending up where it has now, you cannot script that. You cannot write this kind of stuff.”

Cody’s Wish won 11 of his 16 races and earned more than $3 million in prize money.

Before every race viewers were reminded of their heartwarming bond.

Dorman has tragically died aged 17 a day after watching the horse named after him win his final race
Dorman tragically died aged 17 a day after watching the horse named after him win his final race. Credit: AP

Who are Cody Dorman’s parents?

Cody Dorman was born to parents, Kelly Dorman and Leslie Dorman.

Despite welcoming a son with a disorder, the teenager’s mother and father provided him with undying love and support.

Aside from his mom and dad, the Dorman family has a sister named Kylie Dorman.

There were tears at Santa Anita at Breeders’ Cup last Saturday, with Cody’s dad breaking down on live TV as Cody’s Wish survives dramatic stewards’ inquiry to win last-ever race.

Pointing to the sky as he tried to find the words to sum up how he was feeling, he said: “It’s come from up there. All of it.”

Cody’s dad Kelly was giving an emotional interview to NBC’s Nick Luck when it was announced that stewards were looking into the end of the race.

It looked like Cody’s Wish, ridden by Junior Alvarado and trained by Bill Mott, drifted into Bob Baffert’s National Treasure.

But any impact didn’t look like it was enough to alter the margin of victory – which was a neck in Cody’s Wish’s favour.

And ultimately the stewards’ decision was unanimous.

Just as well, there might have been riots at the California track had they overturned.

Cody’s Wish and Cody have put together a story many think is destined to turn into a Hollywood film.

Cody's mum Leslie stands beside her boy after the whole family saw Cody's Wish win for the last time in the Breeders' Cup
Cody’s mum Leslie stands beside her boy after the whole family saw Cody’s Wish win for the last time in the Breeders’ Cup. Credit: AP

What was Cody Dorman’s cause of death?

Cody Dorman died aged 17 in November 2023.

He suffered a rare and severe health condition before he died.

His death comes after watching the horse named after him win his final race.

In a heartbreaking statement, Cody’s parents confirmed their beloved son tragically died on the way back from the Breeders’ Cup in California.

Kelly and Leslie Dorman wrote: “We are heartbroken to share the news that our beloved Cody suffered a medical event on our trip home to Kentucky and he has passed away.

“On Saturday, Cody watched his best friend, Cody’s Wish, display his usual perseverance and toughness in winning a second Breeders’ Cup.

“Those are the same characteristics Cody has showed time and again for the 18 years we were blessed to have him.

“We have been completely amazed to experience the impact Cody has had on so many people, through the journey that this wondrous racehorse has taken us all on.

“From Churchill Downs to Keeneland, to Saratoga to Santa Anita this weekend, we could not move 20ft without someone stopping to tell us just that.

“With Cody’s diagnosis at birth, we always knew this day would com, but we were determined to help Cody live his best life for however long we had him.

“Anyone who has seen him at the racetrack, especially around Cody’s Wish, understands that in many ways he taught us all how to live, always keeping a positive attitude and being more concerned about those around him than himself.”

Cody's dad cries in joy after watching Cody's Wish win at Santa Anita
Cody’s dad cries in joy after watching Cody’s Wish win at Santa Anita

A statement from the Breeders’ Cup read: “The entire Breeders’ Cup team is devastated by the news of Cody Dorman’s passing yesterday.

“His story captured our hearts and minds, and his strength, spirit, and determination were fittingly embodied by his namesake’s commanding performances in his honor.

“We send our sincere condolences to the Dormans, who gave our sport so much by welcoming us into their family.”

Wonderhorse Cody's Wish won his final race the day before Cody, the brave boy he was named after, passed away
Wonderhorse Cody’s Wish won his final race the day before Cody, the brave boy he was named after, passed away. Credit: Alamy

What was Cody Dorman’s condition?

Cody had the rare genetic disorder Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome.

People with the syndrome experience delayed growth and development.

Slow growth begins before they are born and those who are affected tend to have problems feeding and gaining weight.

They also have weak muscle tone (hypotonia) and underdeveloped muscles.

Life expectancy for people diagnosed with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome depends on the severity of their symptoms.

Symptoms that affect a person’s heart and brain can shorten their life expectancy, but many diagnosed with the condition survive into adulthood with care and treatment.