As the world mourns the loss of the rock icon, RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned that the woman who found him in cardiac arrest is also the same woman that saved him from a life of addiction.
"Prior to marrying Dana, Tom was a train wreck," a close family friend said. "He was addicted to heroin and didn't care about anything."
As fans know, Petty met York at a concert in 1991, but did not marry her for another decade, as the two were both married to other people at the time.
"They fell madly in love with each other and she gave him a reason to want to live again. She not only got him clean, but Dana also helped Tom stay clean and he was, in fact, sober when he died. Everyone who knows him knows this," the friend insisted.
As Radar previously reported, Petty previously confessed to a past heroin habit in Petty: The Biography.
"Using heroin went against my grain," he told author Warren Zanes. "I didn't want to be enslaved to anything. So, I was always trying to figure out how to do less, and then that wouldn't work. Tried to go cold turkey, and that wouldn't work. It's an ugly f***ing thing. Really ugly."
After conflicting reports surfaced yesterday as to whether or not Petty was still alive, his spokesperson issued a statement confirming the tragic news:
"We are devastated to announce the untimely death of our father, husband, brother, leader and friend Tom Petty. He died peacefully at 8.40pm surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends."
Now, York is struggling to cope with her husband's sudden death.
"Dana is beside herself. To say she is inconsolable is an understatement. She is heartbroken after finding him and having to call 911," the source added.
"But the whole family is together right now and they are blown away by the amount of support and love they are receiving."
"Everyone loved Tom and every musician in the world wanted to work with him. He truly was a legend. But at home, to his family, he was just Tom."
The "Free Falling" singer is survived by York, 53, as well as two daughters, Adria and Anna Kim Violette, and stepson Dylan.
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