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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Family 'Devastated' By Death Of Last Comic Standing Star

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Mar. 7 2011, Published 5:30 a.m. ET

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Tragic Last Comic Standing comic Mike DeStefano collapsed from chest pains in his mother’s living room shortly before he died, RadarOnline.com has learned.

And although his mother Helen BracciodIeta - herself a retired emergency nurse - managed to get paramedics to her son in time he sadly died on his way to the hospital.

The former heroin addict and HIV positive actor had managed to turn his life around in recent years culminating in his success on the popular reality show.

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His step father John BracciodIeta told RadarOnline.com: “Mike was a tremendous person - we are all devastated and his mother is really taking it badly.

“He lived downstairs from us and after he started suffering from chest pains he came into our home.

“Mike collapsed in our living room and Helen called for the paramedics – he was still alive when they took him away and I thought he was going to make it but it wasn’t to be.

“He really turned his life around and was a fantastic person who helped a lot of people through his counseling and work with Alcholics Anonymous.

“I was proud to call him my son actually and he will be greatly missed by a lot of people – his funeral will be held in the Bronx he would have wanted that.”

The tattoo covered comic made it to the final five on Season 7 of Last Comic Standing and much of his humor stemmed from the hardships in his life, including overcoming drug addiction, the death of his wife, and living with HIV.

The Bronx native had recently finished a sold-out run of his one-man show, Drugs, Disease and Death: A Comedy, at the Producer's Club Theater in NYC and was set to perform a new show, A Cherry Tree in The Bronx, at the Barrow Street Theater Wednesday Night.

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