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Coroner's Report/Petty Family Update

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1/19/18 STATEMENT - "Our family sat together this morning with the Medical Examiner – Coroner’s office and we were informed of their final analysis that Tom Petty passed away due to an accidental drug overdose as a result of taking a variety of medications.
Unfortunately Tom’s body suffered from many serious ailments including emphysema, knee problems and most significantly a fractured hip.
Despite this painful injury he insisted on keeping his commitment to his fans and he toured for 53 dates with a fractured hip and, as he did, it worsened to a more serious injury.
On the day he died he was informed his hip had graduated to a full on break and it is our feeling that the pain was simply unbearable and was the cause for his over use of medication.
We knew before the report was shared with us that he was prescribed various pain medications for a multitude of issues including Fentanyl patches and we feel confident that this was, as the coroner found, an unfortunate accident.
As a family we recognize this report may spark a further discussion on the opioid crisis and we feel that it is a healthy and necessary discussion and we hope in some way this report can save lives. Many people who overdose begin with a legitimate injury or simply do not understand the potency and deadly nature of these medications.
On a positive note we now know for certain he went painlessly and beautifully exhausted after doing what he loved the most, for one last time, performing live with his unmatchable rock band for his loyal fans on the biggest tour of his 40 plus year career. He was extremely proud of that achievement in the days before he passed.
We continue to mourn with you and marvel at Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' incredible positive impact on music and the world. And we thank you all for your love and support over the last months.
Thank you also for respecting the memory of a man who was truly great during his time on this planet both publicly and privately.
We would be grateful if you could respect the privacy of the entire Heartbreaker family during this difficult time.
Dana Petty and Adria Petty"

http://www.tompetty.com/statement

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Some days, I still can't believe he's gone. It's like a bad dream. Living in a world without Tom Petty is a sad sad perspective...

But he died because he was generous...

We should thank his family, his wife and children, for sharing the news with us.

Strength, courage and love to the Petty family and to the Heartbreakers.

 

 

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Someone commented on my Facebook page, 
"He gave us everything he had." 
:( A hard truth, but accurate. He was, like Gregory said, too generous. 
Perhaps he was too kind and selfless for our dark world. A world without Tom is a dark place, and had he never made his music, it would be even darker. 
Gregory is right. We should thank his family and friends for his strength, determination, and selflessness to fans in a time when he was physically unwell. 

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I agree, Marion. 
To an extent, this story reminds me of a beloved dog I had as a kid. He was a year older than me, so I grew up with him always there.
Near the end of his life (when I was about fourteen), he was in a lot of arthritic pain.
We were giving him low dose Aspirin. He thought he could do more than he should have.
The relief from pain pushed him too far. 

There is a reason we feel pain. It's partially a warning to our body. 
If we ignore those warnings, or hide those warnings with pain medication, there's always the chance that we'll push ourselves too far. 

I, too, am grateful they shared this statement with us. Lots of love and gratitude to the strength of Dana, Adria, and the whole family, including band mates. 

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via Rolling Stone -- coroner's office:

The Hall of Fame musician had taken several pain medications, including Fentanyl (including acetylfentanyl and despropionyl fentanyl), oxycodone and generic Xanax. Other medications included generic Restoril (a sleep aid) and generic Celexa (which treats depression)."

Official cause of death: "multisystem organ failure due to resuscitated cardiopulmonary arrest due to mixed drug toxicity," noting the singer suffered from coronary artery atherosclerosis and emphysema.

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That's sad. :( 
On one hand, I feel so saddened that he needed all of these drugs, but on the other hand, I'm concerned that his doctor(s) found this treatment plan viable.
Not placing blame, but only concerned and saddened by the news and thinking out loud. 

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So sad to read this.  I hate pain killers , they make me dizzy and nauseated.  Just the other night I took one of the ones that is listed for Tom.  I took it cause the pain in my legs from my car accident is unbearable at times.  The pill made me feel loopy.  But after a hour the pain was gone.  But my gf said don't take that stuff, so I won't cause it's a narcotic.  Plus I want to get to the cause of the pain not mask it.  I feel bad that Tom thought his fans needed him to tour so much that he did so with this terrible pain.  Hip fractures are serious, and I wish he would've just cared for it.  Perhaps it wouldn't been completely broken had he dealt with it before.   Today's news was very sad, I just wish he would've just gotten well first.  Now he's gone , his family, friends and fans are alone. I think it's a lesson for us all to not put health issues aside for anyone or anything. 

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It's such a shame. I wonder - not that it's any of my business and not pointing fingers - if anyone close to him tried to talk him out of touring. That last video of him the week before he died (going to the doctor) was sad to watch and that alone would have made me raise questions about him going on stage a few days later. I just hope it wasn't a case of, like so many other famous stars before him, him being 'enabled' because so many people depended on him financially. I feel for his daughters and band members especially - all those years with this man they clearly all adored, and then, it's all over. I agree with Shelter that the tour was unnecessary and should have been cancelled/postponed. What's the fun in playing injured anyway? Is it really worth it? Anyone who wishes him well would have understood if he cancelled because of health reasons. Either way, it's a very sad and seemingly unnecessary way to go. And yes, I agree, he probably wasn't selfish enough and possibly too concerned with pleasing others. Oh well, as the cliche goes, at least we have his music and today I shall be listening to Wildflowers :(

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First off, a very classy statement by Tom's family, especially paragraph 5. Right from the outset the 2017 tour was a tough watch for me as i mentioned at the time.Tom was clearly unwell but valiantly kept going...but still..I don't think I'll ever watch footage of the 2017 tour again. A stadium tour too far in my eyes but I have to remember too that for many people who were there some for the first time that they will treasure the memories of seeing Tom and the band on the tour and rightly so. There is a bigger picture too though..was Tom too selfless to cancel the tour..was he not healthy enough to have an operation to fix his hip. Emphysema is a very debilitating illness, I wasn't aware that Tom had it..I often wondered why The Heartbreakers never really ran one song straight into another especially in latter years and always had gaps between each song...now I know why.

Toms passing and the reasons for it are more or less what I had thought they were going to be. It's just a very sad situation. I'm sort of lost for the right words to say about it......

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Sad, sad news. However, I have to admit that I admire Tom for insisting on doing the tour ("damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead"?) in spite of his health issues. Who knows, perhaps he knew in his gut that the end was coming, and he preferred to spend it doing what he loved rather than laying on the couch.

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I've been waiting for this report for months.  Thought the results had come back and the family had decided against releasing the results.  I was shocked to read this yesterday. 

I don't remember reading how he fractured his hip.  Does anyone here know?

If he was in such pain, why didn't he go to the emergency room?  Why didn't he call 911?

And what doctor prescribed all those lethal pills for him?

 

 

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His was a very giving and generous soul.  I didn't follow Tom much until late in his career...but have found much solice in the words and melodies of the music he shared with us.  Feel a deep sense of loss for his Family; they truly have to know the world grieves with them.

Much love to Tom, his Family, the Heartbreakers, their Families, Mudcrutch, their Families, and the collective Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers universe that I am a proud member of.

He was loving and giving to the very end.

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Chronic Illness on The Mighty (a website/public blog/FB page) reported about the statement Dana and Adria released.  
Lots of people commenting are upset that the opioid crisis was mentioned in this statement because many legitimate chronic pain patients, due to the crackdown of opiates, are suffering for it. I hope that these ODs lead to safer ways to treat pain. It's sad to see. I personally believe that the crackdown on opiate prescriptions has caused those who are addicted to rely on illegal drugs which are more likely to kill them and are even more unsafe. Though, I have seen reports mention that the majority of people who are addicted to opiates were never treated for chronic pain or received a prescription, but that they obtained them recreationally.   
It's a huge ongoing conversation which, in all seriousness, is fraught with conflict. 

I've never known anyone to OD and die personally, but I live just outside of Dayton, Ohio where the Montgomery Co morgue has made international news because of the rate of ODs in the area. The morgue is often so filled with OD deaths that they have to rent refrigerated trucks and use other county's morgues because of overflow issues. 

I live in a town west of Dayton. It's a relatively small city of around 6,000 people. You can find needles on the sidewalks. People dealing on the sidewalks. 
More than just an issue of drugs, it brings me to question the state of a society where people feel they need to turn to these drugs for escape.

I don't think Tom is one of those people, in this case. I simply think that he was in physical pain and likely was not attentive to how much he had taken. It's possible he was more susceptible to organ damage due to years of smoking. While I've never had to be on pain medication, I am sure I often take my probiotic more than once a day because I cannot remember if I've taken it or not. For my prescription medications, I do have a planner. But I think pain is different. Pain fluctuates and clouds our thinking and judgement. 

If anything, this statement should help us remember to put our health first. It's not selfish---it's survival. I know about as well as anyone that I have to put my health first. I have hypothyroidism, weak adrenal glands, a circadian rhythm disorder, and an ion channelopathy disorder  similar to hypokalemic periodic paralysis and, despite my longing to be active, to get out and be a part of the world... I rock 'n' roll again... I know that I would greatly pay for it and be stuck in bed and possibly even push myself hard enough to cause a temporary paralytic state. I'm grateful to Tom and his family and friends for all of the amazing music through the years, but unfortunately the reason life has any meaning at all is because it has an ending. And Tom... oh boy... he meant a lot to me and always will.  

 



 
 

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It sounds like Tom was taking an awful lot of different medications. I'm dealing with my husband's illness right now and he has to take so many medications at different times of the day I had to make a spreadsheet to keep track of everything, what they are for and when to take them. It's hard and very easy to get confused.  I can't imagine trying to sort all that out when you are on heavy duty pain meds.  I only take two pills myself and sometimes I can't remember if I took them or not. I can see how Tom could get confused  or he is just plain hurting so bad he took a little more than he was supposed to. 

I truly believe that he did that last tour because he wanted to. Mike said in that Birthday interview that he was a truly a happy man and he was having a great time. He was doing what he loved right to the very end.  ❤️  I don't think skipping the tour would have made any difference.  He may have overdosed but to me it was the damn cigarettes that killed him because that habit caused all of his medical issues and he couldn't kick it.  That was the real addiction. It is just so sad. 😟

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