Patrick Swayze's grieving family said their final goodbyes to the actor in a cowboy-style wake - 24 hours before his death was announced to the world, according to a U.S. tabloid report.
News of the Ghost actor's passing broke on 14 September (09), the date stated on his death certificate, but the National Enquirer claims Swayze, 57, actually lost his battle with pancreatic cancer the day before, on 13 September (09).
A family insider tells the publication Swayze was bedridden at his Los Angeles home in the week leading up to his death and slipped into a coma after being heavily medicated.
The star's wife Lisa Niemi called Swayze's mother Patsy and brother Donny in the early hours of 13 September and the trio kept a bedside vigil for more than an hour before he passed away.
A source says, "It was down to a matter of moments. They walked in and stood around Patrick's bed. Patsy and Lisa held his hands and told him it was time to stop fighting. They told him they loved him and it was okay to go.
"By 10am he was gone. Lisa, Don and Patsy all sat quietly with him for a while."
Niemi then reportedly prepared Swayze's body for a "cowboy wake".
The source adds: "First Lisa removed the medicine and supplies from the room. Then she cleaned up Patrick and dressed him in a nice shirt and slacks. The bed linens were changed and Patrick was laid back down on the bed. He looked like he was napping. He was so peaceful."
Forty of the actor's close friends and family were invited to pay their respects to Swayze on the day of his death before his body was taken away by a coroner.
The source says, "Some just stood there looking at Patrick, saying silent prayers. Some kissed him goodbye, and some told his family how wonderful and brave he had been, and that they'd never forget him."
Swayze was reportedly cremated last week (ends18Sep09). His ashes will be scattered across his beloved ranch in New Mexico later this month.
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