In October 2017, Tom Petty, beloved musician and official heartbreaker, passed away from an accidental opioid overdose. In the last few years of his life, Petty suffered from a series of illnesses, including emphysema, knee problems and a fractured hip. Petty was determined not to let his fans down and continued to perform, not allowing his fractured hip to get in the way. He turned to various pain medications to help him cope with the pain.
These included fentanyl, a powerful, synthetic opioid drug.
Unfortunately, the stress from the tour worsened his hip injury, which turned into a full-on break. His family believes the pain became too unbearable for him and caused him to overdose on medication. Petty’s family understands his story will further the discussion of the opioid crisis, and is fully open to having this “healthy and necessary discussion” in case the awareness can save someone else’s life. If you or anyone you know is or might be suffering from an opioid addiction, please visit our resource page at http://countitlockitdropit.org/resources/.
Read the full family statement below or at TomPetty.com:
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
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