Elvis stayed up all night on the day of August 16, 1977. This was not unusual behavior for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, for earlier, Elvis had entertained some friends, played the piano and sang, and even played racquetball in the early morning hours that day. Elvis retired to his bedroom sanctuary at approximately 8:00 am that morning. His fiancée, Ginger Alden, was staying with him, but sleeping in a different room. She was the last person to see him alive. In the hazy moments before his death it is obvious that Elvis was sitting on the toilet and reading a book. There are some witness contradictions as to whether Elvis was nude or wearing pajamas at the time of his death. Examination of the scene revealed that the bathroom had been cleaned prior to the medical examiner arriving. Bodily fluids were cleaned from the bathroom shag carpet and there were no prescription medicines at the scene of death. Elvis had probably been dead for many hours by the time his body was found.
At 2:33 pm, a Memphis Fire Department ambulance from Engine House 29 responded to the emergency call, resuscitation was attempted, and by 2:56 pm, Elvis was quickly taken to the emergency room of Baptist Memorial Hospital. He was officially pronounced dead by attending medical personnel at 3:30 pm. The very sad announcement was made to the public at 4:00 pm. The autopsy commissioned immediately after his death involved draining all body fluids, removal of all vital organs, and sent to a pathology lab for testing to ascertain the cause of death. Subsequently, it was ruled that Elvis died as a result of coronary arrhythmia (an irregular beating of the heart resulting from myocardial infarction). The contents of Elvis’ digestive tract, essential for determining intoxication levels, were not saved, and to this day prevents a realistic and conclusive official cause of death.
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