Last year, we lost our beloved Princess Leia. Carrie Fisher suffered a heart attack during a flight from London to Los Angeles on December 23, 2016 and she tragically passed away four days later, on December 27. Now, the results of the external examination that took place on December 30 have been revealed.
The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner released the results of #CarrieFisher's autopsy on Friday, June 16.
Her cause of death was unfortunately ruled as "undetermined," but some contributing factors were sleep apnea (a condition that causes people to stop breathing during sleep. This pause can range from seconds to minutes), Atherosclerotic disease (a condition in which fatty tissue builds up on the artery walls) and drug use.
Sadly, according to a report attained by People Magazine, Fisher showed signs of having ingested multiple drugs prior to her death: The actress had cocaine, heroin, ethanol, methadone, and opiates at the moment of her passing. According to the report:
“The exposure to cocaine took place sometime approximately in the last 72 hours of the sample that was obtained.”
Aside from those substances, the actress was found to have had a remote exposure to MDMA (more commonly referred to as ecstasy), as well as traces of antihistamines and anti-depressants in her system. Despite the mixture of various substances, however, examiners couldn't determine whether drugs played a part in her death, as the report stated:
“Based on the available toxicological information, we cannot establish the significance of the multiple substances that were detected in Ms. Fisher’s blood and tissue, with regard to the cause of death."
Carrie Fisher's Family Responds To The Report
Following the report, the actress's daughter, #BillieLourd, and her brother, Todd Fisher, released statements. Lourd's statement –– which was released through People –– read:
“My mom battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life. She ultimately died of it. She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases.
She talked about the shame that torments people and their families confronted by these diseases. I know my Mom, she’d want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles. Seek help, fight for government funding for mental health programs. Shame and those social stigmas are the enemies of progress to solutions and ultimately a cure. Love you Momby.”
Speaking to the Associated Press, #ToddFisher revealed his family didn't want a coroner's report, and that they ultimately weren't surprised by the drugs found in her system.
“We’re not enlightened. There’s nothing about this that is enlightening. I would tell you, from my perspective that there’s certainly no news that Carrie did drugs. I am not shocked that part of her health was affected by drugs."
Fisher further explained his heart condition was most likely worsened by the actress's smoking habit and the prescription medication she took to deal with her mental health. However, he doesn't blame the doctors for the actress's passing, since they were just doing their job.
“They were doing their best to cure a mental disorder. Can you really blame them? Without her drugs, maybe she would have left long ago.”
Carrie Fisher's battle with drug addiction unfortunately never ended, but she was an incredibly brave and valuable human being that used her struggle to help and inspire others. There's no doubt in my mind that she will continue inspiring people in death just as much as she did in life.
If you're struggling with mental health or drug addiction, please, don't be scared or ashamed to reach out for help. Just as Fisher tried to make people understand throughout the years, there shouldn't be a stigma with these kinds of problems.