Before slipping into a coma May 27, Gary Coleman uttered his last words -- addressed to Shannon Price, his ex-wife, who was at his side at a Utah hospital.
"He said, 'I love you and my head hurts,' Those were the last [words] that he said to me because he was in a lot of pain," Price, 24, reveals to Entertainment Tonight.
Although Price and Coleman had been divorced for nearly two years prior to his May 28 death at age 42, Utah Valley Regional Medical Center confirmed last week that Price had a directive to make medical decisions on Coleman's behalf regardless of their marital status.
Coleman suffered a brain hemorrhage May 26 after taking a fall; Price authorized he be taken off of life support two days later. Of that decision, she explains to ET: "The doctors advised me that he wasn't going to make it. His heart was giving out it was going to stop regardless."
She adds: "It was the most difficult decision I've ever had to make in my entire life. Seeing Gary in that circumstance…. it was best for him to go and not suffer. He was already a vegetable."
Coleman was "gone immediately" after the machines were turned off, she says.
Indeed, the Diff'rent Strokes star -- who suffered health problems throughout his life as a result of a congenital kidney disorder -- had less than a year to live, Price claims.
The actor had heart valve surgery last fall, she explains, and doctors "said he wouldn't make it a year...Then he had a new dialysis access catheter put in and they still said that they didn't think he was going to make it a year."
On Monday, Coleman's former manager and estate executor told TMZ that the actor's body will be cremated, although the date -- or where the remains will go -- have yet to be determined.