The distraught widower of Erin Moran has described the moment the Happy Days actress took her last breaths while clutching her husband's hand in a touching open letter he penned Tuesday.
In the tribute, written by Moran's husband Steve Fleischmann and posted by her former co-star Scott Baio on his Facebook page, Fleischmann also recounts how his wife's cancer "got so bad so fast."
Fleischmann, who had been married to Moran for more than 20 years, says he was in bed with the actress when she passed away Saturday from stage 4 throat cancer.
In the lengthy Facebook post he wrote: "She woke up on the 22nd, she was not 100%. She needed Kleenex, so I went to the store and came back. She was there watching TV in bed. I laid down next to her held her right hand in my left. I feel (sic) asleep woke up about a hour later still holding her hand and she was gone, she was just gone."
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In the post, Fleischmann recalled how in November the couple noticed she was waking up with blood on her pillowcase. After a few days, they went to the doctor to discover she had cancer.
Moran, 56, began treatment right away, according to his post.
"It got so bad so fast," he wrote. "By the middle of February, Erin could no longer speak or eat or drink. She had a feeding tube implant and I feed her 6 to 8 times a day. She was still happy, she was active, she texted people on her phone all day."
He also said that the Harrison County Coroner's office explained how catastrophic the cancer was.
"The coroner told me it was really really bad. It had spread to her spleen, she had alot of fluid in her lungs and part of her brain was infected. The coroner said even if she was in the hospital being pumped full of antibiotics she still would not [have] made it. He said it was the best that she was with me and went in her sleep," he wrote.
The post on Baio's page came after the ex-Charles in Charge star apologized for "jumping the gun" when he made what were perceived as harsh comments about her death, which he had first believed were drug-related based on media reports.
"You do drugs and drink, you're gonna die, and I'm sorry if that's cold," Baio said on the Bernie and Sid Show Monday.
He later learned she had died of cancer and distanced himself from those remarks.
"I jumped the gun," he told Inside Edition Tuesday. "I should have known better, but I went with the information that I had."
He said that he assumed the heroin overdose reports were true because "of all the stories about Erin and that's what I went with."
"I feel horrible for her," he added. "I feel horrible for her family."
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