'Willy Wonka' actress Denise Nickerson in critical condition after being hospitalized for stroke last month
Following the health scare, the actress was rushed to the ICU. She has since been fighting for life as her family describes her being at high risk for additional strokes.
Denise Nickerson, the actress best known for playing a young Violet in Roald Dahl's 70s adaptation of 'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory', is in critical condition after suffering a massive stroke last June. Following the sudden health scare, the 61-year-old actress was rushed to the ICU. She has since been fighting for life as her family describes her condition as “at high risk for additional strokes”.
"Denise is at high risk for additional strokes because of the VTachs she faced yesterday before the pacemaker was put in. Most of the left hemisphere of her brain has been badly impacted. She's still sedated so we STILL don't know what the stroke has already done," the actress' daughter-in-law Jasmine updated via a Facebook post on June 25. As it turns out, not only is Denise's condition still unstable but also the severe stroke has left her bed-ridden, making it difficult for the family to provide constant care.
In a wordy post, Jasmine explained, "[Denise] may never be able to use her right arm, or leg, may not be able to speak, and may not understand or even remember us. She will likely require 24-hour care for the rest of her life. She may need a feeding tube and other bodily function machines to exist."
"It's like waking up in a nightmare, and going to sleep is that same nightmare... And I know Denise is in pain and wants us to help but she can't tell us and I can't help. I can't. I can't even help myself."
“And know [sic] we’re faced with, do we put her in a nursing home? Does one of us quit and stay with her constantly? We can’t afford to do either. We’ll be homeless,” she added in a separate post.
At the age of 13, Denise had the opportunity to star opposite Gene Wilder as the gum-chewing, bad-mannered Violet Beauregarde. Apart from the Willy Wonka role, the actress has also appeared on 'The Electric Company', 'Child of Glass', and in an episode of 'The Brady Bunch'.
In her early 60s now and battling serious health issues, Denise's old autographed photos are available for auction. The initiative was taken by her family over Facebook in order to raise money for the actress' further treatment.
“Help Jazzy and Josh Nickerson through their tough time with their mother in the hospital for a stroke,” the family’s Facebook page mentions in the "about" description.
“She’s in the ICU and they don’t want to leave her.”