Elvis Last Hours 16 August 1977

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 On Monday, August 15th, Elvis arose late, as was his custom. (The Memphis Commercial Appeal’s editorial on his passing noted that “if he kept late hours, he also kept the peace.”(After nightfall, he took one of his Stutz-Bearcats out for a drive through Memphis. After returning to Graceland he went to his racquet ball court and played until about six a.m. Tuesday, August 16th.

ElvisCoffin-EPN last-photo-of-elvis-different-angle_1

 12:00 midnight: Elvis and his girlfriend Ginger Alden return to Graceland after a 10:30 pm dentist’s appointment with Dr. Hofman.

2:30 am: Elvis calls his doctor to ask for painkillers, supposedly for the tooth pain he was enduring due to his earlier trip to the dentist. Ricky Stanley, Elvis’ stepbrother, picks up six Dilaudid pills for Elvis from the all-night pharmacy at Baptist Memorial Hospital.

4:00 am: Elvis gets his first cousin Billy Smith and wife, Jo, up from bed so that they can play a game of racquetball with him. Presley, as anticipated, plays the game while barely moving.

4:30 am: Elvis sits at his piano and performs two unidentified gospel numbers and the song “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.”

5:00 am: Elvis and Ginger go up to Elvis’ bedroom. He takes a package of pills put together by his doctor for twice-daily use.

7:00 am: Elvis takes a second package of pills.

8:00 am: Unable to sleep, Elvis has his Aunt Delta Mae Biggs bring him a third package of pills.

9:30 am: Elvis heads for the bathroom carrying the book, Frank Adams’ The Scientific Search for the Face of Jesus. While on his way, Ginger calls out “Don’t fall asleep in there.” “Okay, I won’t,” are Elvis’ last words.

1:30 pm: Ginger gets no reply when she knocks on the bathroom door. She then enters and finds Elvis’ motionless body on the floor in front of the toilet. She frantically calls out for Elvis’ associates Al Strada and Joe Esposito, who quickly arrive and call an ambulance.

2:56 pm: Elvis Presley arrives via ambulance to the Baptist Medical Center in Memphis.

3:30 pm: Elvis pronounced dead. – Elvis Presley Death

4:00 pm: On the steps of Graceland, Elvis’ father Vernon Presley tells the gathered reporters: “My son is dead.”

On Monday, August 15th, Elvis arose late, as was his custom. (The Memphis Commercial Appeal’s editorial on his passing noted that “if he kept late hours, he also kept the peace.”(After nightfall, he took one of his Stutz-Bearcats out for a drive through Memphis. After returning to Graceland he went to his racquet ball court and played until about six a.m. Tuesday, August 16th.

At 2:33 p.m. the call came to the Memphis Fire Department’s Engine House No. 29 on 2147 Elvis Presley Boulevard. The call, from Elvis’ road manager Joe Esposito, said that someone was having trouble breathing at Graceland. That is not an unusual complaint, since fans often faint outside the Presley mansion. Charlie Crosby and Ulysses S. Jones Jr. jumped into Unit No. 6, a “Modular Rev Ambulance” — an orange and white boxlike structure affixed to a GMC chassis–turned on the siren and headed south. At 3746 Elvis Presley Boulevard (no one here calls it just Presley or just Elvis) the ambulance was led up the winding driveway of Graceland by a waiting car.

Crosby and Jones were brought upstairs, where Presley was lying on the floor of his bathroom. His personal doctor. George Nichopoulos was administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

They put Elvis, in his blue pajamas, into Unit No. 6 and sped north on Elvis Presley Boulevard. Crosby was driving and Jones was helping with revival attempts in the back. A number of Elvis’ employees followed. They turned left on Union and raced to Baptist Memorial Hospital’s emergency room entrance, just four-tenths of a mile east of the original Sun Records studio at 706 Union — now a vacant and padlocked yellow, one-story building — where Elvis first recorded. “Breathe, Presley, breathe!” the Commercial Appeal quoted his doctor as saying on the way to the hospital. It was more than too late. Presley’s body was already blue.

Even so, at 2:56 p.m. he was rushed into the emergency room, which was then closed to all other cases. A “Harvey Team,” which is trained in all means of reviving a dying person, worked on him without success. Dr. Nichopoulos finally pronounced Elvis Presley dead at 3:30 p.m.

His body, which was becoming bloated, was moved to the hospital morgue on the second floor. The morgue was sealed off by tight security and the preliminary autopsy began, with every important doctor in the hospital present. Also called in was Dr. Jerry Francisco, the Shelby County medical examiner. Their preliminary ruling was cardiac arrhythmia and hardening of the arteries.

“Elvis had the arteries of an eighty-year-old man,” a Baptist Hospital employee said. “His body was just worn out. His arteries and veins were terribly corroded.”

“He had been hospitalized here on five occasions,” the employee said. “Usually, he would go home to Graceland first. But the last time, in April, they flew him directly here from Louisiana. Every time, the security got tighter. This time, when he was dead, it was tight.

“An autopsy usually takes twenty-four hours. Usually, any vital organs that are removed for study are returned and put into a bag and dropped into the coffin before burial. But not in Elvis’ case. His brain, his heart, his liver, his kidneys and all the rest have been kept out for tests here.” (Maurice Elliott, Baptist Hospital’s vice-president, said, “All organs were removed, and that is not unusual.” Elliott added that “we don’t have a definite cause of death yet, and as the coroner, Dr. [Jerry] Francisco said, we may never know the exact cause of death. Since Dr. Francisco ruled death by natural causes, it then became a private case. So, all autopsy findings will be referred to the family and then any

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