Kerri Kasem said her father Casey’s final days were filled with pain and sickness, but that the radio legend stayed cognizant until the end and was even able to deliver a final message of love to his children before passing away.
Radio legend Casey Kasem died last month after a long bout with illness. His decline was shrouded in controversy as his wife Jean Kasem denied access for Casey’s adult children, and later took Casey from his nursing home facility in the middle of the night.
Casey’s daughter Kerri is now opening up about the ordeal, saying she hopes her father’s plight can spur changes in the law to better empower families in times of health crisis.
In an interview with Access Hollywood, Kerri Kasem said she finally saw her father on May 6, after wife Jean had moved him several times and kept him from seeing family members.
“When I did see him that day he was absolutely cognizant, completely aware of who my sister and I were… he talked a little bit, so he was there, completely there, he didn’t have any infection in him, he didn’t have a bed sore and then she ripped him out of there,” Kerri said.
But his health did not last long, Kerri noted.
“Two weeks later I saw him and it was not good,” she said “He was going downhill fast.”
Kerri Kasem said her father was sick and in pain in his final days, but was able to talk briefly to his children. Casey’s last words were ones of love, she recalls.
“He did say, ‘I love you,’ and that was the last time I heard him talk,” Kerri said.
In the end it was Kerri who assumed control of her father’s care, and even went to court to ask for permission to take him off life support.
Kerri said she was with her father when he took his final breath, and though it was a painful moment said she was happy to be there for her father.
“I was just so grateful that I could be there with him,” she said. “I was just so happy that he didn’t die alone in a nursing home and not thinking that anybody loved him.”
After her father’s death, it was Kerri who announced his death to the world, posting on Facebook:
“Early this Father’s Day morning, our dad Casey Kasem passed away surrounded by family and friends. Even though we know he is in a better place and no longer suffering, we are heartbroken. Thank you for all your love, support and prayers. The world will miss Casey Kasem, an incredible talent and humanitarian; we will miss our Dad. With love, Kerri, Mike and Julie.”
Kerri Kasem said she now hopes Casey’s death can spur larger changes. She is seeking support for a law that would allow a judge to rule on visitation, making it easier for family members to spend time with dying loved ones.