“Tom was far sicker than anyone thought or suspected,” revealed a source. “He was ready to die!”
The “Damn the Torpedoes” rocker — who passed away at age 66 on Oct. 2 after suffering a massive heart attack — needed vitamin shots to boost his energy, and was set for hip replacement surgery, insiders said.
After being a hardcore road warrior for most of his 40-plus-year career, Petty was forced to cancel three shows in late August because he was too ill to take the stage!
“I don’t think I’ve missed a show in many, many years,” he sadly admitted in his final interview.
Petty — lead singer of the Heartbreakers and co-founder of the supergroup the Traveling Wilburys — had been “too frail” and worked himself “too hard” during his final tour, sources told Radar.
“Tom hadn’t been doing well for a while, and when the band got back from London, he seemed to be on his last legs,” spilled a longtime friend.
The singer’s dire health made performing difficult, and he needed regular injections to even muster the strength to perform, insiders revealed.
“Back in the ’90s, Tom had a very bad heroin habit, and it left him with muscle and bone pain,” tattled a source. “Recently, Tom had to be given vitamin B12 shots — 30 or 40 units a day — just to give him the energy to perform! Tom was in severe pain. He was due to have a hip replacement and was exhausted from working his butt off...His family begged him to rest up, but he vowed to finish the tour for his fans.”
When Tom took the stage for the final time at the Hollywood Bowl on Sept. 25, he considered it his farewell to loyal followers, insiders said.
“Tom knew there wouldn’t be any more shows,” a source confessed. “He wanted to go out on top. He blew the place away!”
When the concert ended, insiders revealed, he was in a virtual state of collapse.
“Tom left it all on stage,” the source spilled. “Unfortunately, it cost him his life!”
Just days later, on Oct. 1, Tom’s second wife, Dana, frantically called 911 at around 10:50 p.m. after finding him unconscious on the floor of their Malibu home.
After being told the singer wasn’t breathing, the dispatcher began talking her through performing CPR.
Dana got him breathing “very shallow breaths,” and was told to stop the CPR, roll Tom onto his left side, and wait for paramedics.
The three-time Grammy Award winner was taken to UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica and put on life support. He showed no brain activity.
A chaplain was called to administer last rites, and Tom was taken off life support after his family signed a “do not resuscitate” order.
The “Free Fallin’ ” singer was pronounced dead at 8:40 p.m. in the hospital on Oct. 2 surrounded by family, friends and bandmates, said longtime manager Tony Dimitriades.
“Tom knew he gave everything he had to rock ’n’ roll and his fans,” the source said. “He was ready to go.”
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