Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory star Denise Nickerson is in a desperate fight for life and her loving family members are right by her side.
RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned that the former child actress, now 61, will be cared for by her daughter-in-law after suffering a massive stroke.
Denise is currently in hospital ICU but her son Josh and his wife Jasmine are optimistic that the brave star, who played human blueberry Violet Beauregarde in the original 1971 movie, will recover and be able to return home.
The three live together in a Colorado apartment and devoted daughter-in-law Jasmine told Radar, "Once she gets out of the hospital and eventually gets home, I'll have to quit my job. She'll need around-the-clock care and I'll be the one to do that."
Jasmine confided, "We all share an apartment in Colorado. She pays her portion of the rent and her bills and now that she's in the hospital, we're having financial troubles."
Denise's family members are trying to raise cash to help with her medical costs and have set up a Facebook support page where they are providing fans with updates.
They are also offering autographed merchandise in exchange for donations.
As RadarOnline.com previously reported, Denise has been in intensive care since late June.
Her son Josh told Radar, "We're not sure when she's going to be able to leave the hospital as she's not able to care for herself. She can't walk. She can't talk."
It's a far cry from when she was an active 13-year-old playing opposite Gene Wilder in the beloved film classic.
Although Wilder died almost two years ago at age 83, some of the surviving Willy Wonka stars have contacted Denise's son and daughter-in-law.
"They're relaying the information back to other cast members and keeping hope alive that mom pulls through this. They're staying strong for mom and wishing her the best," Jasmine said.
Josh, her only son, has exclusively told Radar about Denise's weak condition, noting, "She's able to do some light movement but still, her right side is immobile. We're taking this extremely hard and want her to get better but right now, it's hard. Her stroke was really massive."
He added, "She has been sick for a couple weeks with pneumonia and was on antibiotics. The antibiotics caused her to have irregular heartbeats. She had a lot of health problems. She was on several medications and that combination just shut down her body. She had heart rate spikes of dangerous levels. We're confident she's going to leave but the hospital doesn't want to rush anything because she's had so many different episodes."
Get well, Denise!
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