Lisa Niemi was widowed in 2009 when her husband, Patrick Swayze, died of pancreatic cancer. Now, remembering his life, Niemi has revealed the actor’s final words before he slipped into a terminal coma.
Swayze, star of Dirty Dancing and Ghost, was 57 years old when he met his fate following a 20-month battle with cancer. He passed away on the peaceful ranch that he shared with Niemi. She recalls that she placed a white rose on his chest and an amulet above him over the bed. Neimi also brought Swayze’s favourite horse to him, a stallion named Roh, to say a final goodbye.
In her 2011 memoir titled Worth Fighting For, Niemi recalled the painful final moments. “My last words to Patrick? ‘I love you,’ and those were his last words to me,” she wrote. “After I brought him home, things went very fast. I cherished our time alone, holding his hand, listening to music, sleeping with my arm around him, my head on his shoulder, wordlessly.”
She added: “In the quiet of Monday morning, September 14th, I looked at his face and listened to the tiny sips of air he was taking. There was something delicate, childlike about it. I knew it was time.”
Swayze might be gone, but Niemi said in a 2019 documentary that she still feels his presence every day. “He’s still in my dreams,” she said. “In the beginning, you kind of think the pain is going to help you hold on to them, and it doesn’t. But I haven’t lost him, and that was my fear.”
“I was driving down the road, and Emmylou Harris’s version of ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ was playing on the radio, and I really got that he’s just on the other side, almost so close I could touch him.”
Adding: “I was driving down the road, and Emmylou Harris’ version of ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ was playing on the radio, and I really got that he’s just on the other side.”
Niemi has since found love with jeweller Albert DePrisco, who she married in 2014, but she still believes she will one day be reunited with Swayze. “Yeah. He’ll be waiting for me,” she continued. “And that’s a wonderful thing.”
Swayze had been a heavy smoker for over 40 years, and he once admitted to smoking up to 60 cigarettes a day. The late actor admitted that his chain-smoking habit probably “had something to do with” the cancer he developed. He even continued to smoke cigarettes while undergoing treatment for cancer.