“She was still happy, she was active, she texted people on her phone all day," her husband wrote about the time before she passed.
Erin Moran's widower penned a heart-wrenching open letter detailing the actress's final days. Anson Williams, who starred opposite Moran in the 1970s comedy, Happy Days, told PEOPLE that the letter was shared by actor Scott Baio on Facebook and was written by her husband Steven Fleischmann in honor of his wife who died at the age of 56 from stage 4 cancer on April 22, 2017, at a residence in Indiana.
"Erin and I met on 4/22/1992 and parted ways on 4/22/2017. We were planning to go to Thunder Over Louisville to celebrate. She was feeling fine on our anniversary 11-23-2016. Maybe four or five days after we got back, Erin woke up and had a dime size blood stain on her pillowcase. She said I think I bit my tongue. A couple of days go by and there’s a bigger spot of blood. We get like 4 days into December, there’s more blood. I get a flashlight and say let me look. It was not her tongue it was her tonsil on the left side. I thought it was tonsillitis," he began.
"So we went to an ENT who said they wanted to biopsy it. It came back with squamous cell carcinoma. She started radiation and chemo. Five days a week radiation and chemo only on Thursdays. We did that the whole time. It got so bad so fast. By the middle of February, Erin could no longer speak or eat or drink. She had a feeding tube implant and I feed her 6 to 8 times a day,” the letter continued. “She was still happy, she was active, she texted people on her phone all day."
"On the 21st she was having trouble breathing. She woke up on the 22nd, she was not 100%. She needed Kleenex, so I went to the store and came back. She was there watching TV in bed. I laid down next to her and held her right hand in my left. I fell asleep and woke up about an hour later still holding her hand and she was gone, she was just gone. Norton Cancer Institute never said how bad it was,” Fleischmann wrote. “The coroner told me it was really really bad. It had spread to her spleen, she had a lot of fluid in her lungs and part of her brain was infected."
Her widower then concluded by saying, "The coroner said even if she was in the hospital being pumped full of antibiotics she still would not have made it. He said it was the best that she was with me and went to her sleep." He then asks the fans, friends, and family "feel free" to share the letter adding that the "press has been relentless."
"We will see what tomorrow brings," he concluded. "PEACE my friends."
Erin Moran's husband on her final days: I fell asleep holding her hand, and when I woke up she was gone. https://t.co/n6RF3bIlhJ pic.twitter.com/9YFYbQ4HBp— Inside Edition (@InsideEdition) April 26, 2017
Erin Moran was born in 1960 and despite her short life she had a lengthy career, the actress bagged her first role at the age of five in a television commercial for First Federal Bank. She then went on to do many projects and made her feature film debut, How Sweet It Is! (1968) with Debbie Reynolds. She is best known for her role as Joanie Cunningham on the very popular sitcom, Happy Days.
On April 22, 2017, the world lost a very talented actress to cancer, and needless to say that she will be missed.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | David Livingston