Tom Petty’s cause of death has not officially been released, but reports from recent weeks and audio from a 911 call show that the rocker had been struggling with illness in his final weeks and could have contributed to his death.
Petty passed away on Monday after going into full cardiac arrest on Sunday evening. The legendary rocker was rushed to a hospital after he was found unconscious and not breathing in his Malibu home, and reportedly declared brain dead not long after arriving at the hospital.
While reports noted that cardiac arrest was the immediate cause of death, medical officials have not yet revealed what factors led to the cardiac arrest or if it could have been brought on by another ailment.
Petty’s wife may have already shed some light on illness he was battling in his final days. In the audio of a 911 call published by TMZ, a dispatcher is heard asking wife Dana York if Petty had been suffering any recent illnesses. York responded that he had bronchitis.
That was already known to fans of the rocker. In August, Tom Petty had to postpone concerts in Berkeley and Sacramento due to illness, the Mercury News reported.
The report included an official statement from Petty noting that a doctor had instructed him to take time off to recover.
“As Tom Petty heals from laryngitis and bronchitis, additional changes are required for the remainder of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ Bay Area & Sacramento performances. We share this news with regret, but Tom’s doctor has advised Tom to take additional days off before performing.”
The Mercury News noted that Petty had recovered and was able to play the re-scheduled concerts within a few days, but the 911 call from Sunday made it appear as if Petty could have been battling another bout of the ailment.
There were no outward signs that Tom Petty was suffering too many ill effects from the serious ailments, however. As the International Business Times noted, he had just completed an extensive tour for his 40th anniversary in music, and Forbes the had just taken note of his performing prowess, naming Petty the “classic rock MVP of 2017.”
After Petty’s death, his official Twitter page posted a statement that the rocker died in the hospital surrounded by friends and family. His official website also became something a de facto memorial, posting a stream of Twitter comments offering condolences and remembering Petty’s influence on the music world.
It is not immediately clear when Tom Petty’s cause of death could be revealed in full.
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