Elvis Presley's fiancee Ginger Alden recalls horror moment she found him slumped dead on toilet

Elvis Presley with girlfriend Ginger Alden
Elvis Presley's lover Ginger Alden found him dead -Credit:Handout

Elvis Presley's former partner Ginger Alden recounted the harrowing moment she discovered him lifeless on the bathroom floor.

The King of Rock 'n' Roll died unexpectedly at his Graceland mansion, aged just 42, on August 16, 1997, leaving fans worldwide in mourning.

His family decided to keep the autopsy report private for half a century, maintaining secrecy over the events that led to his untimely demise, reports the Mirror.

However, his then-girlfriend, who was only 21 at the time, has revealed the grim details of his last moments in her book.

Ginger was the one to find Elvis motionless, face down next to the toilet in his home on that fateful Tuesday afternoon.

In her autobiography, she describes the scene: "His arms lay on the ground, close to his sides, palms facing upward. It was clear that, from the moment he landed on the floor, Elvis hadn't moved."

She goes on to say: "I gently turned his face toward me. A hint of air expelled from his nose. The tip of his tongue was clenched between his teeth and his face was blotchy. I gently raised one eyelid. His eye was staring straight ahead and blood red."

Tragically, the legendary performer had been battling health issues for a decade, exacerbated by drug misuse.

Elvis died in the bathroom at his Graceland estate ( Image: Michael Ochs Archives) -Credit:Michael Ochs Archives
Elvis died in the bathroom at his Graceland estate ( Image: Michael Ochs Archives) -Credit:Michael Ochs Archives

In the period leading up to his death, the once-svelte singer of hits like 'Hound Dog' had reached a weight of 25 stone and had isolated himself, indulging excessively in cheeseburgers.

Reports suggest that he required a full-time nurse and avoided bathing throughout 1975, leading to the development of sores.

His appalling diet resulted in severe constipation, and an autopsy revealed four-month-old compacted stool in his bowel.

Dan Warlick, the chief investigator for the Tennessee Office of the State Chief Medical Examiner who was present at the autopsy, supported the widely held belief that Elvis died while straining on the toilet.

He once stated: "Presley's chronic constipation - the result of years of prescription drug abuse and high-fat, high-cholesterol gorging - brought on what's known as Valsalva's maneuver. Put simply, the strain of attempting to defecate compressed the singer's abdominal aorta, shutting down his heart."

Elvis was a global phenomenon at the height of his fame ( Image: Corbis via Getty Images) -Credit:Corbis via Getty Images
Elvis was a global phenomenon at the height of his fame ( Image: Corbis via Getty Images) -Credit:Corbis via Getty Images

While some believed he succumbed to a drug overdose, the reopening of the investigation in 1994 led coroner Joseph Davis to contest this theory.

He clarified: "The position of Elvis Presley's body was such that he was about to sit down on the commode when the seizure occurred.

"He pitched forward onto the carpet, his rear in the air, and was dead by the time he hit the floor. If it had been a drug overdose, [Elvis] would have slipped into an increasing state of slumber. He would have pulled up his pajama bottoms and crawled to the door to seek help. It takes hours to die from drugs."

The autopsy results are set to be revealed in 2027, but until then, the most significant insight into the star's enigmatic death has come from renowned California physician, Forest Tennant, who had the opportunity to review the report while defending Elvis' doctor, Dr. George Nichopoulos, who was later cleared of over-prescribing drugs.

For Mr Tennant, a major clue lay in the full-body deterioration of Elvis, with nearly every organ suffering from poor health.

As a young man, Elvis had been incredibly fit, engaging in football and martial arts.

Rock and roll singer Elvis Presley with his girlfriend Ginger Alden in March of 1977 in Hawaii.
Rock and roll singer Elvis Presley with his girlfriend Ginger Alden in March 1977 in Hawaii. -Credit:Michael Ochs Archives

He did begin abusing drugs such as amphetamines, opioids and sedatives as a teenager and is known to have had a dreadful diet.

However, for Tennant, this wasn't sufficient to account for the extensive list of ailments that plagued the rock star from the late 1960s onwards.

Initially, he complained of vertigo, back pain, insomnia, eye infections and headaches, and in 1973 he was rushed to hospital in a semi-coma, diagnosed with jaundice, severe respiratory distress, noticeable swelling of his face, distended abdomen, constipation, a gastric, bleeding ulcer and hepatitis.

He was admitted to hospital again in 1975 with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a condition called megacolon, where the large intestine becomes distended and can allow toxins to flood the body.

Elvis Presley performs in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1973
Elvis weighed 25st at his heaviest due to his poor diet ( Image: Getty Images) -Credit:Getty Images

He also had at least four near-death overdoses that left him unconscious and requiring resuscitation, and his heart was double the normal size.

Despite never having smoked, he also suffered from emphysema.

Forest believes that all these diseases in his stomach, liver, lungs, heart, spine, eyes and bowel can be traced back to a serious head injury he sustained in 1967, which triggered a progressive autoimmune inflammatory disorder.

In a 2013 medical paper, he shared his belief that when Elvis tripped over a television cord and knocked himself out on the bathtub, the injury was so severe it caused brain tissue to dislodge and enter his bloodstream.

The body identified this as foreign matter and produced antibodies to destroy it, triggering hypogammaglobulinemia, an immune system disorder.

At the time, little was known about autoimmune conditions, but today they are recognised as causing many of the symptoms Elvis displayed, including chronic pain, irrational behaviour, obesity, and enlarged and diseased organs like hearts and bowels.

In 2016, Garry Rodgers, a retired homicide detective and forensic coroner, told the Huffington Post that with these findings in mind, he would have attributed Elvis' death to a heart attack caused by heart disease and drug use, sparked by an autoimmune disease resulting from a brain injury.

He stated: "I'd have to classify Elvis' death as an accident. There's no one to blame - certainly not Elvis. He was a severely injured and ill man. There's no specific negligence on anyone's part and definitely no cover-up or conspiracy of a criminal act. If Dr. Forrest Torrent is right, there simply wasn't a proper understanding back then in determining what really killed the King of Rock and Roll."

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