Charlie Daniels’ Son Details His Dad’s Final Hours
Country legend Charlie Daniels died the morning of July 6, 2020, at the age of 83, after a hemorrhagic stroke. In a new blog post on his father's website, Charlie Daniels Jr. shares his father's final hours, and explains that a medication he was taking likely contributed to his death.
Daniels Jr. calls the week of his dad's death an "emotional roller coaster" and "overwhelming." At 5:45AM on July 6, Daniels Jr.'s mother, Daniels' wife Hazel, called her son in tears "and said that I needed to get up to their house right now, that Dad was sick." Daniels Jr. worried that his father had somehow caught the novel coronavirus, but when he arrived at their home, he "found Mom and Dad on the upstairs porch and Dad was slumped over in his chair."
"I asked him if he could breathe, he nodded and tried to say yes, but it was obvious that he was very weak," Daniels Jr. explains. He called 911 while his mom called Daniels' cardiologist, who suggested that Daniels was having a stroke.
After EMTs loaded Daniels into an ambulance and took him to a local hospital, Daniels Jr. and Daniels' longtime manager, David Corlew, raced there, while Hazel stayed at home.
"[A doctor told us] it wasn’t good," Daniels Jr. explains. "He told us that dad had a massive stroke and ... wasn't clotting" because he was taking a blood thinner. Daniels had been prescribed the medication following a 2010 stroke.
"It probably kept him from having another stroke for 10 years, that and his pacemaker, and in December of 2018, he had cardiac catheter ablation surgery to improve his heart rhythm, which increased his energy even more," Daniels Jr. writes. "But unfortunately, the blood thinner is what did him in this time. Because his blood wasn’t clotting, the blood kept pouring into his brain stem."
Doctors tried to reverse the blood thinner's effects and stop the bleeding, "[b]ut by the time the meds kicked in, they weren't getting any brain activity," Daniels Jr. says.
Daniels' faith was strong — the country legend noted as much in his final interview — and his son and wife know he's in a better place. "I have no doubt that at 9:52AM on Monday morning on July 6, Dad heard, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant,'" Daniels Jr. relates, "and I know that I will see him again."
That doesn't stop their hurt, however. "My mom and I miss him terribly," Daniels Jr. adds.
"I think it goes without saying that this has been the worst week of my life, bar none. The man I’ve known for 55 years, who, along with my mom, have always been there for me is gone. We’re still shell-shocked," Daniels' son writes, adding, "He was the strongest man I’ve ever known. The best father, the best boss, the best friend I could ever ask for."
Daniels was laid to rest on Friday (July 10). His family asks that in lieu of flowers, fans make a donation to the Journey Home Project, which Daniels and his manager, Corlew, founded in 2014 to help address the needs of U.S. veterans.
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