DUSTIN Diamond says his "my throat hurts" but still manages to make a joke in a "last" audio message before his tragic cancer death, shared with The Sun.
The Saved by the Bell star, who died on Monday, age 44, from stage four lung cancer, sent his close pal Dan Block a recorded message in which he tries to make light of his serious condition, despite struggling to talk.
In the recording, Dustin, in a strained voice, says: "I'm waiting for my doctors to get back in here.
"When I swallow my throat hurts… but like something dropped honey on the bed sheet, not even the floor, not my jeans, so it's five second rule… yeah [but even the] the 0.0005 second rule could kill me."
Dan said he wanted to share the recording – made last Thursday just before Dustin became unable to speak – with fans so they could see how he tried to deal with his illness with humor right until the end.
"He sent me that audio on Thursday which was the last time I actually spoke to him, after that he found it hard to talk," Dan said.
"In that audio he is trying to make light of the situation he was in.
"His doctors had just told him that he had very low platelets in his blood and the slightest scratch could cause him to bleed to death.
"He was just trying to take it all in and I think making jokes made it easier for him to take in.
"He knew it was serious, but he's still trying to make people smile – I thought I'd share it because it shows people he was making jokes until the end.
"He would be crying, then I would be crying and he'd say something to make me laugh and then he'd start laughing. Seeing me laugh would make him feel better."
Dustin was also cracking jokes with his doctors and nurses in his last days, according to Dan.
"Another thing he said to me while he was in the hospital was, 'I'm telling jokes and even my nurses are heckling me.. I'm dying and I'm trying to tell jokes and they're not even laughing!'
"He said, 'Come on man, I don't have much of an audience to work with and they're still heckling me, I'm getting heckled on my deathbed!'
"He was hilarious. He was always trying to make jokes, make people laugh, everything was a joke to him.
"He had a dark humor too, one of the jokes he told his dad was he said he was going to play a game called, 'Which organ is going to shut down first?'
"He had humor right until the end but he's been dealing with tragedy right from when he was born.
"He used to entertain his brother with jokes when he was dying as a child."
Dan added that he wanted to thank all the doctors and nurses who helped treat Dustin in his last days.
"I want to say thank you to all the medical staff who cared for Dustin," he said.
"He must have pushed that call button thousands of times because he didn't like being alone and he hated pain.
"I'm sure he told them some awesome jokes and I'm sure he told them some terrible jokes."
Dustin was first hospitalized in January and diagnosed with stage four small cell carcinoma, despite claiming he had never smoked cigarettes.
Previously Dan had said the actor was subject to constant public ridicule both in person and online – and he believed the bullying had prevented him from getting treatment earlier.
Dan, who met Dustin after hiring him to film comedy commercials for his firm Insurance King, had flown into Florida to be by his side when he passed away.
On Wednesday he revealed Dustin's tragic final moments to The Sun describing how his friend was struggling to talk or breathe in his last days.
"When I got here on Monday, he couldn't speak, he was gasping for air. It was a very awful sight. I know he was in a lot of pain," said Dan.
"Then they released him to hospice care, I helped put him in the ambulance and drove with him home.
"They were setting up his bed and bringing him into the house and before he could get moved into his bed he stopped breathing and he had a DNR [Do Not Resuscitate].
"He decided on the DNR because he did not want to be in pain anymore, he just wanted to go."
Dan said he decided to fly in to see Dustin in the hospital in Florida after his girlfriend Tash sent him an audio of the star's labored breathing.
Before his death, Dustin had revealed to The Sun that his last wishes were to meet the bassist from his favorite band Tool, Justin Chancellor, and to visit the Star Wars exhibit at Disney World.
Dan now has plans to continue with a project he and Dustin had discussed together – in his memory.
"Dustin and I had this idea of working with type-casted celebrities like him, that maybe have been down on their luck or are looking for regular work, so I'm definitely going to do that," he said.
He also made a poignant tribute video for Dustin, showcasing some of his best Saved By The Bell moments and some of the commercials they'd worked together on.
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