Alan Thicke's widow has expressed her "gut-wrenching sadness" following the Canadian star's unexpected death, which is confirmed to have been caused by a ruptured aorta. The 69-year-old actor also had a "standard type A aortic dissection," according to his official death certificate, an aortic tear which caused the rupture. The document states that Alan died mere minutes after the rupture occurred.
The Growing Pains star was at the Pickwick Gardens recreational centre in Burbank playing hockey with his 19-year-old son Carter when he was suddenly taken ill. The vice president of the skating rink, Darin Mathewson, told Entertainment Tonight that he had been the one to call the ambulance.
"He said he had pain in his chest, but his colour was not good," Mr Mathewson said. "He was a little grey, when the ambulance got here they hacked his vitals… and they put him on the gurney, sat him up. When he went by us, he gave us a thumbs up, like, 'I'm doing good guys, I'm good,'" he added.
Sadly, shortly after arriving at hospital, Alan passed away.
On Sunday, Alan's family – including his three sons, Brennan, 41, Robin, 39, and Carter – came together with friends to remember the star. Leonardo DiCaprio, who worked alongside Alan in Growing Pains, was among those who attended the gathering, as was Bob Saget, Bill Maher and Kirk Cameron.
Alan's wife Tanya has since broken her silence on the actor's death in an emotional statement released on Tuesday (Dec. 20). "It is with gut-wrenching sadness and unbelievable grief that I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the outpouring of love and support during this unimaginable time," the 41-year-old said.
"Through tears and smiles our dearest of family and friends came together at our home to celebrate the life of my sweet and devoted husband Alan Thicke.
"Yesterday, along with my step sons and our combined extended family, we laid my beloved husband, soul mate and the patriarch of our family to rest. We ask that you respect our privacy during this time of profound mourning."