Denise Nickerson, the 62-year-old actress best known for playing the insufferable Violet Beauregarde in the 1971 children’s classic film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, suffered a severe stroke last year, as reported by The Inquisitr. She was taken to the hospital on Monday due to a medical emergency.
Doctors diagnosed Nickerson with pneumonia before she suffered a massive seizure on Wednesday. The doctors turned up her oxygen levels and put her on life support. The pneumonia caused problems with her breathing which didn’t allow her to exhale carbon dioxide from her body.
Her son, Josh Nickerson announced Wednesday morning on Facebook that his mother had been removed from “all the equipment.” The family decided to take the actress off the respirator when her condition worsened.
The doctors have since halted all medication and removed her IV.
The family is seeking financial help for Denise’s funeral arrangements. Despite having starred in the hit film, the actress doesn’t have money to leave behind or any life insurance.
Nickerson’s family started a Go Fund Me page explaining the actress’ condition while asking for help to have her cremated.
The actress’ daughter-in-law, Jasmine Nickerson, is expecting a child. The couple stated on the Go Fund Me page that they are “sick with worry” and that the stress “is harming us both and putting our baby in danger too.”
On the Go Fund Me page, her son said that “She’s been in a coma-like state. She cannot be saved. We’ve been up here with her most of the day and she’s experienced multiple additional seizures.”
Her son went on to explain that they are unsure of how much time the actress has left.
‘It could be minutes. It could be hours. But no matter what, she’s already gone.’
So far the family has raised over $2,000 of their goal of $10,000.
Nickerson entered a rehab facility in July 2018 and was able to go home that August. She welcomed her Willy Wonka co-stars Paris Themmen, known for the character Mike Teevee, and Julie Dawn Cole, known as the character Veruca Salt, for a visit one month later.
Nickerson not only starred in Willy Wonka but also appeared in television shows such as The Electric Company, Dark Shadows, and The Brady Bunch.
Nickerson’s wish is for her body to be cremated, and her ashes made into a piece of glass art.