Beth Chapman's daughter opens up about her mom's tragic final moments: 'She quite literally choked on her cancer'

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Beth Chapman’s daughter Bonnie is opening up about losing her mother to stage IV lung cancer — and her tragic final moments.

While her father, Duane “Dog” Chapman, beautifully described Beth’s death on June 26 by saying she “hiked the stairway to heaven,” their 20-year-old daughter says that in reality it was far different. Beth, who was 51, lost consciousness at their home in Hawaii and never regained it as they held vigil by her bedside at a Honolulu hospital.

Duane "Dog the Bounty Hunter" Chapman and his daughter Bonnie Chapman at a press conference in front of his Colorado store on Aug. 2, to address the theft there. (Photo: Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

“My dad goes over and over and over what happened, because he can’t get it out of his head,” Bonnie told SurvivorNet. “She quite literally choked on her cancer.”

Bonnie explained that Beth “was naked in the bathroom and told my dad to look at her. And he goes, ‘I am looking at you.’ And she goes, ‘No, look at me.’ And then she was standing there and she started gasping, and my sister came into the room and they called 911 immediately.”

Bonnie said, “That was the last moment that we really saw her completely conscious.” However, they gathered by her side at the hospital and shared many more “last words” with her — whether she heard them or not.

Bonnie also confirmed that Beth opted to discontinue her chemotherapy treatment. She had first been diagnosed with stage II throat cancer in 2017 and went into remission, but it returned last year — and had spread to her lungs.

“She did try one round of chemo. And it did not go well for her. She had very severe symptoms,” Bonnie said. “She had complained about every single joint in her body starting to ache… about her not being able to get up by herself to use the bathroom. It was hell to her... She completely despised it She despised who she was after that one session.”

Bonnie said Beth tried it so that she didn’t “disappoint people,” but ”at the end of the day, she did not want to lose her hair, her teeth… She didn’t want to feel like she was falling apart. She wanted to remain as much ‘Beth’ as possible. Even though when she did pass, she had lost the majority of her hair, she was really happy to still have her smile and still look like Beth.”

And in those final months, Bonnie said her father was incredible.

“Even as her hair started to diminish, he would tell her that she looked like an Egyptian goddess,” she shared. “He just loved her so much, and I’m really proud of him for sticking with her until the very last moments. That’s what she needed. She needed someone who loved her as much as my dad did. You know, I think that she truly feels that love now.”

She added, “My dad had a love for her that was constantly growing stronger and stronger.”

In a new interview with Dog, he said he’s “not afraid to die anymore” during his dangerous bounty hunter busts since his wife died. Bonnie acknowledged that she and her family members are just “trying to keep it together,” admitting, “Right now is the most fragile time of our lives.”

And when Bonnie thinks about her mom, it’s the simpler moments — when she wasn’t taking down criminals or being a reality TV star. Her favorite image is Beth lounging in front of the fireplace in their family’s Colorado home without her wig and the family cat by her side.

“As larger than life as my mother was, she loved her moments of quiet,” she said. “I just hope that she’s getting that quiet right now.”

Dog’s Most Wanted, the family’s new reality show, will debut Sept. 4 — and it will chronicle Beth’s illness in addition to their criminal busting. Bonnie admits that she’s not sure she’s ready.

“It’s very vulnerable,” she said. “It’s unlike anything you could really experience. It’s having the whole world have eyes on you in an intimate way and to have the whole world know exactly what you’re going through... It’s really hard, I’m not gonna lie.”

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