Moments before his death, Alan Thicke was joking with his son to take a photo of him.
The beloved actor, who died Tuesday at the age of 69, was playing hockey with his 19-year-old son, Carter, at the Pickwick Gardens ice skating rink in Burbank, California before he collapsed.
Darin Mathewson, vice president of Pickwick Gardens, placed the 911 call on Tuesday.
“I was in my office [and] probably in the first 15 to 20 minutes of the game, these guys came running in and said, ‘Hey. call 911. We got a guy down.’ So I called immediately and went out there,” Mathewson told Entertainment Tonight’s Lauren Zima. “In Burbank, the EMTs and the ambulance services are really fast, within a few minutes, and by the time I got out there, they were coming in.”
Thicke was “coherent” when emergency personnel arrived, Mathewson said, even though he was initially vomiting and not feeling well.
“He said he had pain in his chest, but his color was not good. He was a little grey,” Mathewson said. “When the ambulance got here they checked his vitals … and they put him on the gurney, sat him up.”
As he was being taken out of the rink, Thicke joked with his son to take a photo of him, apparently to assure him he was fine.
“On his way out he asked his son to take a picture. He goes, ‘Ah, take a shot kiddo’ and he did and off they went,” Mathewson recalled.
“He had Carter take a picture of him, and said, ‘Make sure you get the rink in the background’ as they were taking him out of here. When he went by us, he gave us the thumbs up, like, ‘I’m doing good guys, I’m good.'”
He was pronounced dead soon after he arrived at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center. ET reported that Thicke had pre-existing heart problems and that doctors did everything to save him during surgery.
The staff at the Pickwick Gardens ice rink were “very saddened” by the actor’s death, Mathewson said, adding that Thicke was “pretty much a regular.”
“We didn’t think that was going to be the case so it’s very sad news,” Mathewson told ET. “I felt bad for Carter, I could see he was very shaken up by the whole thing.”
Today I lost my best friend and my idol, and the world lost one of it’s finest. You are a legend and I love you Pops. Until next time. pic.twitter.com/ZQd2NZMTx4
— Carter Thicke (@CarterThicke) December 14, 2016
Just days before his death, the Canadian-born actor best known for his role as Jason Seaver, the father on the ’80s sitcom, “Growing Pains,” seemed perfectly fine. Less than two weeks before his death, Thicke was honored at the Whistler Film Festival in his native Canada.
— Alan Thicke (@Alan_Thicke) December 13, 2016
His 40-year-old wife, Tanya, posted a photo on Instagram Sunday of her with her husband on the way to what would be their last Christmas party together.
“I’ve got the cutest designated driver EVER!!!!” she captioned the photo taken on their way to the party hosted by Patron tequila founder John Paul DeJoria.
Friend Chris Breed posted a photo from the party to Instagram.
“He always had a good one-liner after everything,” Pickwick Gardens’ Mathewson said. “Funny, good, good guy — good man. We’re just going to miss him so much.”
Indeed, Alan Thicke will be missed by many.
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