New details are emerging about the last days of comedian Bernie Mac, who passed away at age 50 this morning from complications of pneumonia AND sarcoidosis. People Magazine is reporting that his wife of 30 years, Rhonda, and daughter Je’Niece, 30, were with Bernie until the end. Bernie’s sister-in-law Mary Ann Grossett said that:
He opened his eyes on his own and looked at Rhonda. She called his name, and he opened his eyes and nodded to her. She smiled at him and told him, ‘Don’t leave me â€¦ ‘I’m waiting for you to come back.’ He shrugged his shoulders, and she said that’s when she knew he was tired. He signaled to her that his body was tired.
The sister-in-law says Bernie’s inflammatory lung disease did contribute to his death, contrary to the statements made by Bernie’s publicist.
“He had sarcoidosis, but it was in remission. But because he had it, his immune system was compromised. He had an infection … He was on a new medication that suppresses the immune system, and that’s where the pneumonia came from.”
She says that Bernie was actually hospitalized on July 24, eight days before the date given to the press for his admittance. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and immediately placed on a ventilator. Mary Ann says he was critically ill while he was in the hospital, and was in intensive care the entire time. Bernie apparently contracted a second strain of pneumonia while in the hospital. “They tried to resuscitate him two times. One time he came back for about an hour. Then he went into cardiac arrest the second time.”
Macâ€™s funeral is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 15, at an undisclosed location. The family requests that donations be made to the Bernie Mac Foundation for Sarcoidosis, 40 E. Ninth St., Suite 601, Chicago IL 60605.
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