Dustin Diamond's Girlfriend Gives Heart-Wrenching Account Of His Last Days

It came as a shock to the world when news broke that actor Dustin Diamond died at the age of 44 on Feb. 1, 2021. In January 2021, the actor was diagnosed with stage four small cell carcinoma days after being hospitalized for a "mystery illness," per TMZ

"Dustin is in the hospital and the medical teams are doing tests to find out more," a rep for Diamond told People at the time. "Everyone is hoping for a speedy recovery." Diamond is widely recognized for his role as Samuel "Screech" Powers in the Saved by the Bell universe. However, the actor did take a stab at music when he joined a band called Salty the Pocketknife in 2001, per Chaos Control

Although Diamond's career would be plagued by his tell-all memoir and scandal, he was ready to start a new leaf. He told his Saved by the Bell co-star Mario Lopez in a 2016 interview, "I want to put the tomfoolery and malarkey behind me... for that clean slate. Time for a change." 

Diamond left behind an infamous legacy of laughs and childhood memories for all '90s kids, so we can't help but wonder how he spent his last days. Read on to find out.

Dustin Diamond was surrounded by his loved ones during his final days

Dustin Diamond spent his final days surrounded by his loved ones, including his girlfriend, Tash, and best friend Dan Block. Days after Diamond's tragic death, Tash revealed new details about his last moments. "He was the love of my life. We planned on a future together and spoke often about having kids. I'm heartbroken," Tash told Daily Mail. The certified pharmacy technician also recalled their last conversation where he was able to speak to her just one day before his death. She continued, "Even though he was struggling to breathe and had difficulty speaking he was able to get out the words to me, 'I love you,' I told him I loved him back."

According to Tash, Diamond was released from the hospital around noon on Feb. 1, 2021. The actor was taken to a friend's house by a worker for hospice care. Diamond was found not breathing by Tash soon after they arrived. He was pronounced dead at the scene, per the publication. "After I got out of our car I went into the house to be with Dustin. That was when I discovered he wasn't breathing," Tash said.

While still heartbroken, Tash recalls having memorable times with Diamond that she will cherish forever. "You had to experience Dustin as a human being, you can't describe him," she said. "He was pure fun, I laughed more with him in these few short months that I have in my entire life." 

Dustin Diamond feared seeking treatment earlier

Prior to his death, Dustin Diamond faced serious medical conditions. In October 2019, the actor was diagnosed with MRSA, per The Scottish Sun. Diamond's best friend, Dan Block, recalls taking him to the hospital for the infection after the former noticed a sore on his face. "It started to eat away his earlobe and he kept putting makeup on it. At the time Dustin was living in Wisconsin and I live in Illinois so I made the three hour drive up there to take him to the hospital," Block told Daily Mail. "He had a Nissan Rouge but since he owed money to the IRS they took it away from him, so he was basically housebound." Diamond spent three days in the hospital fighting the infection before being released from the hospital in December 2019.

In November 2020, Block said he received a call from Diamond about feeling sick again, describing a pain in his neck. "Dustin told me the lump was on the left side of his neck right underneath the jawbone neck area... It was the size of a golf ball. He told me that Tash wanted him to go to the doctor to have it checked out," Block recalls. Diamond did not seek treatment immediately in fear of being recognized by people and facing scrutiny for his medical condition. 

Amid his cancer diagnosis, Diamond expressed fear of death, Block said: "Dustin was scared, he called me often crying, telling me he didn't want to die. He was in a lot of pain."

Dustin Diamond revealed his biggest regrets to his best friend

Following his stage four cancer diagnosis, the late Dustin Diamond began his chemotherapy treatment in early January 2021, per The Sun. As told by his friend Dan Block, the Saved by the Bell star was scared to undergo chemotherapy for this reason (via Daily Mail): "His mother died of breast cancer and he saw what chemo did to her." Diamond also received his cancer prognosis within the same month, stating that he had anywhere from five months to a year to live.

Block also revealed details from an intimate conversation that he had with Diamond prior to his death, which also covered the latter's biggest regrets in his lifetime. Diamond's answer was pretty simple: "everything."

 "Being Screech was both a blessing and a curse. Because of his fame, if he did anything wrong, the entire world would know. If he was just a normal person, only his family and a few friends would know and care, " Block told Daily Mail. "He didn't want to be known as Screech, it irritated him when someone called him Screech. He just wanted to be a normal guy."