By ELIZABETH WHITE
Associated Press Writer
SALT LAKE CITY — Actor Gary Coleman‘s distraught wife told a Utah emergency dispatcher that the former child TV star was bleeding from the back of his head after falling at their home, according to a 911 tape released Wednesday.
The call was made by Shannon Price on May 26, two days before Coleman died of a brain hemorrhage at age 42 after being removed from life support.
“I just don’t want him to die,” Price tells the female dispatcher during the nearly six-minute call. “I’m freaking out like really bad.”
In the call Price said she’s not sure whether Coleman had a seizure or whether he hit his head and fell. She said he was going downstairs to make some food and that she then heard a “big bang.”
“Send someone quick because I don’t know if he’s like gonna be alive cause there’s a lot of blood on the floor,” Price said.
Coleman is lethargic and Price says she “can’t really help him” and can’t drive because she has seizures.
“I don’t even know what happened. …I looked at the back of his head and it’s all bloody and gross,” Price said, later reporting to the dispatcher, “He’s conscious but he’s not, like, with it.”
During the call Price can be heard calling out to Coleman and telling him not to move and to sit down.
The dispatcher asks Price to get a towel for Coleman to apply pressure to the back of his head.
“I’m just panicked I don’t know what to do,” Price said. “When are they (emergency services) going to be here, do you know?”
Coleman was conscious at the hospital that day but slipped into unconsciousness Thursday and was taken off life support Friday with family at his side.
Funeral services are planned in Salt Lake City this weekend, though an exact day hasn’t been announced and it’s not clear whether the services will be private or public.
Coleman starred for eight seasons on the sitcom ‘Diff’rent Strokes,’ starting in 1978. The tiny 10-year-old’s “Whachu talkin’ ’bout?” was a staple in the show about two African-American brothers adopted by a wealthy white man. Coleman played Arnold Jackson, the younger of the two brothers.