After its premiere in 1982, Steven Spielberg’s Poltergeist It set the stage for the classic haunted-house film. It set the standard for many filmmakers to follow. However, hiding behind the film’s production is the lesser-known story of the late child star Heather O’Rourke.
She Landed Her Breakthrough Role ‘Poltergeist’
Heather Michele O’Rourke was born to parents Kathleen and Michael O’Rourke on December 27, 1975, in San Diego, California. A charming young girl, she had white hair and was a gifted performer for frightening and charming audiences. Mike Meyers is her agent.Heather was president of her fifth-grade classroom and could memorize a 60 page script in under an hour.
Before being auditioned by Steven Spielberg, the actress was a child of modest means. Her breakout role was Carol Anne. Poltergeist, Heather served as the conduit for evil spirits that haunted a family’s suburban California home. She was the centerpiece of the film; it was her fascination with an unnamed, unseen spiritual entity that first alerted audiences to the film’s eerie antagonist. Her disappearance became more complicated as the plot developed. It was her panicked search that led her family to uncover the mystery surrounding their otherworldly guests.
Her line, “They’re here,”A declaration that is delivered with an almost childlike, eerily misplaced excitement, is undoubtedly the most popular line in the movie. The film inspired two sequels. Poltergeist II – The Other SideAnd Poltergeist IIIBoth of which featured Heather, the young actress. She was also a regular on several TV shows. Happy Days.
RELATED:Tragic Repercussions for One of The ‘Baby Jessica’ First Responders
She began filming in 1987, just before she began to shoot. Poltergeist III, doctors diagnosed Heather O’Rourke with giardiasis, a parasitic infection that she most likely contracted from drinking well water. They subsequently diagnosed her with Crohn’s disease, although it’s unclear if this was an accurate diagnosis or not. She was treated with cortisone injections in order to reduce inflammation. Her mother said, “Her mother reminded me to.” PeopleThe steroids made her cheeks puffy. “rather embarrassed about her chipmunk cheeks.”
In 1988, she died unexpectedly
Over time, Heather’s doctors weened her off of the cortisone, and by late that year, she seemed perfectly healthy. This was true until January 31, 1988. Heather woke up one morning vomiting. She couldn’t eat and was feverish. Initially, her family thought she had the flu. But when she fell ill at home, her mom immediately called 911.
Heather collapsed after she was driven less than 10 minutes to the hospital. After resuscitating Heather, doctors were able to revive her and rushed her into surgery. Doctors found an obstruction in her bowel during a routine abdomen surgery. During her recovery, however, her body had already suffered too much and she was again in cardiac arrest. After performing life-saving measures for more than 30 minutes, doctors declared her dead at 2:43 pm on February 1, 1988. She was only twelve years of age.
According to the hospital, her death was due to septic shock caused by congenital intestinal stenosis. However, Heather’s sudden passing has baffled medical professionals in succeeding years. Congenital Stenosis, a birth defect, is the narrowing or deterioration of blood vessels or tubular organs. Most people with congenital stenosis will experience severe digestive problems as a result of narrowing of the intestine.
Modern medicine makes it easy for surgeons with minimal or no complications to just remove the narrow portion of the intestine, and then connect the normal sections. It is amazing that Heather has never had any intestinal obstruction since January 31. Heather did not experience any digestive problems other than her bout of giardiasis last year.
People Tried to Make Sense of Her Death
Although it is extremely unlikely to be asymptomatic, medical professionals believe that congenital narrowing of the large intestine is possible. About one in every 500,000 live babies will have congenital narrowing. Asymptomatic cases of congenital narrowing of the large intestine are almost unheard-of. Heather could have avoided the digestive issues that often plague people with stenosis.
To this day, medical professionals haven’t been able to provide a satisfying explanation for Heather’s mysterious death. However, it hasn’t been for lack of trying. In fact, Heather’s mother, Kathleen, took her daughter’s case to the courts. According to the Associated PressShe filed a wrongful-death suit against the doctors who diagnosed her daughter with Crohn’s disease.
RELATED:Tragic Stories of ‘Fletch’Robert Sorrells, Actor, Was Killed in Prison In 2019.
According to Kathleen, despite rigorous testing, doctors failed to recognize the blockage in her daughter’s intestine. As she saw it, it was a missed opportunity to save Heather’s life. Kathleen maintains that money will not make the situation right, but the lawsuit was eventually settled out of court. Heather is still a cultural icon today, as Carol Anne. She’s fondly remembered as a promising young star whose life and career were halted far too soon.