According to Bernie Mac’s sister-in-law during an interview with PEOPLE his wife of 30 years, Rhonda Mac and their daughter Je’Niece age 30 was with him until the very end. Mac’s sister-in-law Mary Ann Grossett reveals that the 50-year-old actor-comedian succumbed to complications from pneumonia in a Chicago hospital at 2 a.m. Saturday. Grossett says that the night before, “He struggled for his life. He couldn’t breathe.”
Grossett continues that Mac opened his eyes on his own and looked at Rhonda. She called his name and he opened his eyes and nodded to her. She smiled at him and told him, ‘Don’t leave me … ‘I’m waiting for you to come back.’ He shrugged his shoulders, and she said that’s when she knew he was tired. He signaled to her that his body was tired.”
Mac was actually having trouble breathing and running a fever and was hospitalized on July 24, eight days before the date given for his admittance, stresses Grossett. While in the hospital she said, “They tried to resuscitate him two times. One time he came back for about an hour. Then he went into cardiac arrest the second time.” Also she said Mac communicated on July 31, non-verbally that he could breathe on his own and he wanted the ventilator out. “He motioned that he wanted it out,” said Grossett.
It was known in the media that Mac had sarcoidosis (inflammatory lung disease) that was in remission. However, according to his sister-in-law Mac’s inflammatory lung disease contributed to his death. Stressing, “But because he had it, his immune system was compromised. He had an infection … He was on a new medication that suppresses the immune system, and that’s where the pneumonia came from,” revealed Grossett.
“He was critically ill when he was in the hospital,” revealed Gossett. “He was in intensive care the whole time.” Adding that doctors kept Mac sedated, although he was conscious at times and he contracted a second strain of pneumonia while in the hospital.
Mac’s funeral is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 15, at an undisclosed location. The family is requesting that donations be made to the Bernie Mac Foundation for Sarcoidosis, 40 E. Ninth St., Suite 601, Chicago IL 60605.
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We sincerely offer our deepest sympathy to the entire Mac family! The world truly remains a lot less funny without our beloved Bernie Mac.