Former child star Denise Nickerson, who played Violet Beauregarde in the classic 1971 film “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” has been taken off life support after a major medical emergency.
Nickerson’s family announced Wednesday morning that they had chosen to stop treatment after the actress, 62, suffered a massive seizure and her condition continued to worsen.
“They just took off all the equipment. None of it was helping, but making her only more uncomfortable,” Nickerson’s son, Josh, wrote on a public Facebook page that gives fans updates about her health. “We’re telling her it’s okay to let go.”
Nickerson, who the family says suffered a “severe stroke that caused extreme damage” last year, on Monday was taken to the emergency room and then the ICU, where she was diagnosed with pneumonia. The “massive seizure” occurred the next day.
“They have upped her oxygen,” her family wrote. “She’s under a DNR order so they aren’t putting her on a ventilator or feeding tube.”
Since then, the actress has been in a “coma-like state” and continued to experience seizures.
“We don’t know how much time she has. It could be minutes. It could be hours. But no matter what, she’s already gone. We are sitting here with her just trying to keep her comfortable and let her know it’s okay.”
The family has now launched a GoFundMe campaign to fund Nickerson’s final wishes, as the actress said she wanted her remains to be made into a piece of glass art after cremation.
Nickerson, who landed her breakout role when she was only 13 years old, left Hollywood in 1978 to become a nurse.
But she still had fond memories of her time with the Wonka family, gathering with her co-stars for a sweet reunion in 2015 to reminisce on the good old days.
She also paid her respects to comedy legend and co-star Gene Wilder when he died in 2016.
Nickerson also appeared on the television series “Dark Shadows,” “The Electric Company” and on an episode of “The Brady Bunch.”
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