Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Despite spin from coroner and Las Vegas media, the sad truth remains: Danny Gans died from using Dilaudid, the opiate favored by Elvis & Anna Nicole

Las Vegas Sun

Impressionist Danny Gans’ death was accidental and the cause
was hydromorphone toxicity due to chronic pain syndrome,
Coroner Mike Murphy announced this afternoon.

Hydromorphone is a synthetic opiate
more commonly known as Dilaudid.

Danny Gans was a superstar. Danny Gans was a family man. Danny Gans was an athlete. Danny Gans was an exemplar of Born Again Christian values that were part of his official biography and a major art of his appeal. Danny Gans was the wholesome, corporate clean standard bearer of Las Vegas Nevada, a resort destination known the world over as "Sin City."

Whatever pain and human frailties this man endured, he realized he had to endure in private. And after he died, unexpectedly, unexplainedly, on May 1st, in his home, the media in his town kept his secrets, deciding to not report about the prescription drugs found by paramedics in the room where his body was found, the rumours of steroid use that were rampant throughout entertainment circles, or any hint of human weakness.

So the long-delayed announcement today by coroner Mike Murphy that Danny Gans died because of "hydromorphone toxicity due to chronic pain syndrome," the phrasing was deliberate, the language was perfected to Clintonesque perfection to disguise the sad reality:

Danny Gans died from the use of Dilaudid, hydromorphone, an opiate narcotic used to treat severe chronic pain, the drug a favorite drug of Elvis Presley, and a drug he took on the day he died, as well as the drug favored by Anna Nicole Smith.

Two reporters for The Las Vegas Review Journal reported on the death this morning with a lead that reflected the whitewashing, tone favored by editor Tom "McCloud" Mitchell, but a second line that was a journo's demand for clarity:

"Impressionist Danny Gans’ death was accidental and the cause was hydromorphone toxicity due to chronic pain syndrome, Coroner Mike Murphy announced this afternoon.

"Hydromorphone is a synthetic opiate more commonly known as Dilaudid."

At his press conference Tuesday, the coroner was Danny Gans' greatest defender, insisting, "This was not drug abuse. What I’m trying to be clear about is, we have an issue involving Mr. Gans’ health and the hydromorphone, and as a result of a combination of those issues, Mr. Gans succumbed to his health condition.”

Mike Weatherford and Brian Haynes summarized his findings in the Review-Journal:

"Dilaudid was 'a factor in exacerbating those risks' of his pre-existing conditions, hypertensive cardiovascular disease and polycythemia, a thickening of the red blood cells often described as 'the opposite of anemia.'"

They added, pointedly:

"Dilaudid's analgesic potency is from two to eight times that of morphine, but it is shorter-acting and produces more sedation than morphine, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration."

The coroner would not report what other drugs were found in Gans' body. “We are trying to respect (the Gans family's) privacy and treat them appropriately as we deal with all families... They’ve been very good to work with.”

Sadly, it is Chip Lightman, Gans' manager, who led the charge to protect his client's reputation through these six weeks of mystery, who for once is left without spin, flailing and asking if his client was on the powerful narcotic because of shoulder surgery in November.

“Could they have given him that during his recovery? I don’t know where he would have gotten (Dilaudid) from but from his doctor, that’s all I could figure.”

Where did Danny Gans get the Dilaudid?

Did he have a prescription for the drug?

Why, if Danny Gans had a heart condition, would he be prescribed a drug that could lead to a heart attack?

Was this really "accidental"?

How could Las Vegas' symbol of clean-living Christianity fall to the same toxicity that brought down Elvis and Anna Nicole?

With the coroner's conclusions, the story of the death of Danny Gans is only beginning to unfold...


Anonymous said...

From the beginning it has been clear, you have had a chip on your shoulder and an agenda to make a name for yourself no matter what the facts turned out to be. Elvis and Anna Nicole had nothing to do with this. They may have abused this medication but it does not mean Danny Gans did. Now that this was revealed as an accidental death resulting from prescribed use, YOU are the one spinning to try to justify your hateful, vile and disgusting rumor-mongering. Worst of all you have tried to take down the reputations of those who will not stoop to your level as being "not aggressive enough." You in fact DON'T know what trails they have been chasing, you just know what they had in print, and evidently they just showed more restraint than you and wanted actual facts. As a result of that YOU are the one with egg on your face, since NONE of your speculation talked about pain medicine, it was all about steroids. In short you may pretend to be a journalist but you are not and never will be. Now watch this comment get deleted even though I just accurately and completely picked apart your entire reportage on Gans over the past five months.

Anonymous said...

Meant to say past five weeks.