LIFESTYLE

"The Loss Destroyed Everyone": Entertainer Dick Van Dyke Recalls Heartbreak Of Losing His 13-Year-Old Granddaughter Jessica

Date June 5, 2019 11:04

Dick Van Dyke was unarguably one of the greatest in the golden age of television. With his beaming smile, ridiculous stunts, and unforgettable screen roles, Dick was loved all over the world by many. He, however, experienced the painful loss of his granddaughter, Jessica L. Van Dyke.

"The Loss Destroyed Everyone": Entertainer Dick Van Dyke Recalls Heartbreak Of Losing His 13-Year-Old Granddaughter Jessica"The Loss Destroyed Everyone": Entertainer Dick Van Dyke Recalls Heartbreak Of Losing His 13-Year-Old Granddaughter JessicaGetty Images / Ideal Image

Jessica’s struggle with Reye’s syndrome

The granddaughter of the legendary entertainer, Jessica died at the age of 13 after struggling with Reye’s syndrome.

The devastating disease which causes severe swelling in the brain and liver is found mostly in children between the ages of 5 to 15 after they have viral infections like chicken pox, flu or any other respiratory disease.

The eighth-grader was treated for chicken pox by taking four baby tablets of aspirin. She later began vomiting and became delirious.

Jessica was taken to Rainbow Babies’ and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, where she was with diagnosed Reye’s syndrome and passed on shortly after.

"The loss destroyed everyone"

Opening up on the loss of his granddaughter in his book My Lucky Life in and Out of Show Business - Dick Van Dyke, the legendary entertainer said Jessica’s death changed all their lives.

By the time I jetted back east from Vancouver, Jessica was gone. The loss destroyed everyone – Chris, Jessica’s mom, her stepfather, me, Michelle, Margie, the whole family, and countless others in her school and community who knew her.

"The Loss Destroyed Everyone": Entertainer Dick Van Dyke Recalls Heartbreak Of Losing His 13-Year-Old Granddaughter Jessica"The Loss Destroyed Everyone": Entertainer Dick Van Dyke Recalls Heartbreak Of Losing His 13-Year-Old Granddaughter Jessica

Michael Bonanno‎ to Too Late for Autographs (Ohio)/Facebook

Dick described his granddaughter who liked playing sports and writing poetry as a bright and vibrant girl just coming into her own.

The veteran actor also admitted that time lessened the immediate pain of losing her, but there was no getting over the loss of Jessica, who had so much potential at a young age.

He also lost two more people

After the death of his granddaughter, Dick also lost his ex-wife, Margie, and partner of over three decades Michelle Triola.

When his former wife Margie died of pancreatic cancer, the actor said he lost a part of himself.

After Margie’s death, Michelle his partner also passed on after her battle with lung cancer.

The veteran actor surely misses his vibrant granddaughter.