Heath Ledger’s family responds to autopsy

February 6th, 2008 // 64 Comments

Heath Ledger’s family issued the following statement in response to the final autopsy report:

We remain humble as parents and a family, among millions of people worldwide who may have suffered the tragic loss of a child. Few can understand the hollow, wrenching, and enduring agony parents silently suffer when a child predeceases them. Today’s results put an end to speculation, but our son’s beautiful spirit and enduring memory will forever remain in our hearts.

While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy. Heath’s accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage.

Our family enjoyed an extremely happy two week visit with Heath just prior to the New Year. Those recent precious days will stay with us forever. We as a family feel privileged to have some of his amazing magic moments captured in film. To most of the world Heath was an actor of immeasurable talent and promise. To those who knew him personally, Heath was a consummate artist whose passions also included photography, music, chess and directing. We knew Heath as a loving father, as our devoted son, and as a loyal and generous brother and friend.

We treasure our beautiful granddaughter Matilda (to our dear Michelle) as well as an unbelievably wonderful network of close friends, forever, around the world. Families rarely experience the uplifting, warm and massive outpouring of grief and support as have we, from every corner of the planet. This has deeply and profoundly touched our hearts and lives. We are eternally grateful.

At this moment we respectfully request the worldwide media allow us time to grieve privately, without the intrusions associated with press and photography.

Wait. Is he talking about me? He couldn’t be. I’m never considered press. No matter how many times I wear one of those little cards that says “Press” in my hat. Then again, maybe a beer can hat isn’t exactly journalistic. Or maybe it’s the most journalistic…

Photo: INFdaily.com
superficial

  1. The Medic

    Excuse me #38, the same “buffer”? Oxycontin is Oxycodone in its pure form with a wax covering on the outside of the pill causing it to be released in a controlled way and comes in 10mg, 20mg, 40mg, 60mg and 80mg, and formally a 120mg, whihc they discontinued. Percodan and Percocet and Oxycodone/APAP are simply Oxycodone mixed with either APAP ie. tylenol or Aspirin and come in 5mg, 7.5 and 10mg strengths. If you scrape the wax coating or chew an Oxycontin, you get the drug released all at once. If you pop 10 percocets or percodans at once, you get all of the drug at once. My point is, there is no appreciable difference in these drugs other than the delivery method and once taken, they metabolize in the body the same exact way.

    Anyone using any opiate for any prolonged amount of time will become physically dependant and experience discontinuation symptoms in the form of withdrawls. But no, not everyone who uses these drugs becomes “hooked” in the addicted sense. That is totally false. Studies show that actually a small percentage of patients actaully become addicted and require treatment. You are correct that withdrawl symptoms can be stopped and you can “keep going” to use your words, because as I explained above, it is the EXACT SAME DRUG in every way, one is just mixed with tylenol or aspirin and the other is in pure form.

    Regarding constipation, a patient can manage this with proper fluid intake and a high fiber diet or fiber supplement. Also, a stool softener can be used if needed. Alcohol use can greatly exacerbate these problems.

    You sound as though you have been down the addiction road with these yourself. I myself have not, though I do work in a clinical setting with these patients on a daily basis.

    I strongle urge anyone not truly needing strong pain relief not to play around with these drugs. They can be deadly if abused, as we have seen over and over.

    Cheers.

  2. just a gal

    I think its in our nature to try to find the humour in any situation, perhaps its part of human survival 101, or something… and to find the humor in even awful situations is not necessarily bad if it helps you deal with it, etc…..but it should never be mean spirited, specially when on a public site where people who may be truely affected by what has happened can read it.

    I guess public events will catch the eye of comedians and wanna-be comedians who will build their material around something tragic, just so show how shocking and care-free they are…and yes, sometimes it is truely funny – but even professional comedians, yes, even the ones who can tell the filthiest aristrocrat jokes, usually give people some grieving time before trying out the jokes….who was it that told the 911 joke at some awards thing or something.. and then said “oh…too soon?”.

    Slagging the living is one thing, slagging the dead is another.

    I mean, its now been a while since steve irwin died, pick on him instead :P

    Well, in regards to heath ledger, it said he had low amounts of the drugs he used, and it was simply the combination that did it – he had no illegal drugs in his system. Perhaps he knew what he was doing or perhaps he should of known….we don’t know the situation…. Perhaps he should have been warned by the doctor. Perhaps it was the same doctor who prescribed all the medications and he trusted the doctor – maybe not.

    He also was very sick, according to reports – ill as well as insominia, perhaps he was not able to even think clearly or think it through. The fact it, these things happen, accidents happen, and I think it is cruel to joke around publicly about his death without giving people time to grieve – those that knew him.

  3. lisa_girl

    I get so sick of hearing people say that oxycontin is soooooo much more addictive and calling it hillbilly heroin and stuff like that. It is no dang different than a regular old percocet just time released is all. My mom takes them like she is supposed to and she aint addicted!!! If you dont take too much or crush them up they are safe. Just like if you dont take a whole bottle of percocets at once they is safe.

    People like #38 talk out they ass and dont know sh*t !!

  4. dlee

    whoever writes this page- i can not stand you. you present yourself to be a miserable, negative extreeeeemly judgmental and ungrateful loser. i understand you get off on the misfortune of others, but when someone dies, it’s called honor and respect. dont throw in a joke when you’re reporting a tragic young death. you can’t even bite your tounge, or let go of your monsterous, unpleaseant and over-confident ego for even a moment. i bet you live in LA and run around chasing the same celebrities you trash on these boards. i personally know these reportings of yours are just that, trash- but unfortunately the 12 year olds reading might not be able to see that just yet. you are a disgrace, a joke, really. nice cause you fight for, real nice, genuine. ha

  5. suz

    sick bastards. leave it alone, i do not believe that death, no matter how it has come about should be mocked, have some respect you sickos.

  6. Mark

    I realize a lot of you are making your snarky, insensitive little remarks just to seem SHOCKING and EDGY, and CLEVER, & to get attention. But that attention goes away in a matter of minutes, & people forget who the hell you even are.
    But, prove to people that you have some class, and can show respect when called for, & that sticks with people for a long, long time.

    RIP Heath. And I hope those close to him are comforted by the love & support of each other, as well as Heath’s countless number of fans.

  7. Jimmy

    #56

    Could have said it better myself. Having class never fades!

    RIP Heath.

  8. Jimmy

    I meant “Couldn’t” have said it better myself.

  9. Misty Rosado

    To #19 and all of the other IDIOTS, GET A LIFE !!! You just want your ten seconds of fame. You can only wish your life was half as amazing as his. He was a great actor and a gorgeous man. I, and millions of others loved him and his movies. So, to his family, I hope you find peace in this time of grieving. Ignore the stupid comments made and remember THAT STUPID PEOPLE have the right to speak also. No one can take away from how great he was and what all he accomplished. God be with you Heath Ledger !!!

  10. pam

    I am glad after reading all the blogs that all of you are so perfect. He was obviously at a bad time in his life. He resorted to a variety of pills to help fight the pain and depression. I agree that his death was a result of all the anit-anixety medications and not the perco-whatever. I hope all of you so compassionate people never have to turn to drink or drug and when you ask where can I find some sympathy? I will say it is in the funkin wagnell in between shit and syphlils Find it yourself

  11. pam

    I am glad after reading all the blogs that all of you are so perfect. He was obviously at a bad time in his life. He resorted to a variety of pills to help fight the pain and depression. I agree that his death was a result of all the anit-anixety medications and not the perco-whatever. I hope all of you so compassionate people never have to turn to drink or drug and when you ask where can I find some sympathy? I will say it is in the funkin wagnell in between shit and syphlils Find it yourself

  12. pam

    I am glad after reading all the blogs that all of you are so perfect. He was obviously at a bad time in his life. He resorted to a variety of pills to help fight the pain and depression. I agree that his death was a result of all the anit-anixety medications and not the perco-whatever. I hope all of you so compassionate people never have to turn to drink or drug and when you ask where can I find some sympathy? I will say it is in the funkin wagnell in between shit and syphlils Find it yourself

  13. trinity82

    I really hope none of you reach a stage in your lives where you need to get help with a sleep disorder or anxiety or depression. This poor man was open about his lack of ability to sleep and was obviously suffering, maybe to the point where he just wanted to sleep and took what he could to make him,that doesn’t make him a junkie and it certainly doesn’t mean he deserved to die. I believe that what happened to heath was an accident, maybe an accident waiting to happen but an accident none the less. His family deserve to be left to grieve for thier son. I wonder if it was a member of any of your families would you be on message boards spouting hate and smearing thier name? I doubt it. Let this man rest in peace and leave his parents and family to thier memories of thier son that they raised and has now gone before them,because i can assure you all thats EVERY parents worse nightmare. And his father and mother have the right to remember their son with all the fondness and happiness that he brought them.

  14. FAY

    number 63, exactly!! people can be so insensitive -.-

    i will always remember him from 10 Things I Hate About You, he was young and hot with a cute Australian accent and talent that would take him far :)

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