Rock icon Tom Petty ascended “ Into The Great Wide Open“ last October (twice!) at 66 and TMZ is reporting that the results of his autopsy have been released. Tom overdosed on a mix of whatever you can’t get over the counter at CVS without a prescription.
Tom experienced multiple organ failure due to “mixed drug toxicity.” In addition to the Fentanyl patches he was using, the mixture of drugs that they found in Tom’s system included “oxycodone (Oxycontin), temazepam (Restoril), alprazolam (Xanax), citalopram (Celexa), acetyl fentanyl and despropionyl fentanyl.”
Tom was dealing with a variety of health problems when he passed, including emphysema, knee issues, and coronary artery atherosclerosis. The major issue, however, was the one which every person over 60 seems to eventually contend with – a fractured hip. You can’t be an old person without breaking a hip. They should just issue you a hip replacement with your AARP magazine subscription.
Tom’s family confirmed the coroner’s report and issued a statement on his site saying that he didn’t deal with the hip and it got serious and might have led to the overdose.
The family says the linchpin to Tom’s demise was the fractured hip. He insisted on touring for 53 concert dates with the condition, which worsened over time and caused him to take the meds. On the date he had the heart attack he was told his hip had graduated to a full-on break that made the pain unbearable and may have caused the overuse of meds.
The autopsy says that Tom had gone into full cardiac arrest on Oct 1 but the paramedics resuscitated him. He flatlined for about 20 minutes in the ambulance, and was revived again. He went into cardiac arrest for a second at the hospital, and was eventually put on life support. Tom’s family took him off the respirator on Oct 2. His cause of death originally read “deferred” on his death certificate.
So Tom must have ambled into the VIP area in Rock Star Heaven and was greeted by Prince and Michael Jackson knowingly asking “Fentanyl?” He must have nodded ruefully before launching into a searing performance of “Refugee” to announce his arrival. Avoid Fentanyl, rock star community!