Dog the Bounty Hunter Star Beth Chapman Dies at 51: 'She Hiked the Stairway to Heaven'
Beth Chapman publicly announced her stage II throat cancer diagnosis in September 2017
Dog the Bounty Hunter star Beth Chapman has died. She was 51.
“It’s 5:32 in Hawaii, this is the time she would wake up to go hike Koko Head mountain,” her husband Duane “Dog” Chapman tweeted Wednesday. “Only today, she hiked the stairway to heaven. We all love you, Beth. See you on the other side.”
A rep for the Chapmans tells PEOPLE, “Beth died at 5:32 this morning, the same time she would wake up to go hiking Koko Head. The exact same time. She was surrounded by family and Dog was there, holding her hand.”
In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, WGN America expressed their condolences.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic news that Beth Chapman lost her battle with cancer today. She was an exceptional woman, fiercely loyal and passionate about her family and she was a true joy to work with. All of us at WGN America will miss her tremendously. Our thoughts and prayers are with Duane, her family, loved ones and millions of fans.”
News of her death comes after Dog revealed that Beth was admitted to Hawaii’s Queen’s Medical Center on June 22. According to Hawaii News Now, she was put into a medically-induced coma. In a statement to the outlet, her husband said both he and his family “humbly ask everyone to please pray for Beth.”
“It’s quite serious,” the family rep told PEOPLE at the time.
On June 24, Dog also shared a message on Twitter, asking his followers to “please say your prayers for Beth right now.”
In November 2018, Duane that she was “not doing well.” Days before his comment, PEOPLE confirmed Beth had been hospitalized in Los Angeles for an emergency surgery to clear a throat blockage that was obstructing her airways.
The Chapmans first opened up about Beth’s illness in September 2017 when they publicly announced her stage II throat cancer diagnosis.
Talking to PEOPLE about her diagnosis and cancer journey in November 2017, Beth was determined to keep a positive attitude.
“I knew I couldn’t let it take me over,” she said. “I had to keep moving, every day, moving forward. That’s all you can do when you get a diagnosis like this. So I take it each day at a time. And I’ll fight it with all that I have.”
Beth underwent surgery to remove the tumor from her throat, but the recovery was tough. The couple told PEOPLE that they were making it through the dark time together.
“I take it one day at a time. And I believe in the power of prayer,” Beth said, while husband Dog added, “She’s very tough, and she can beat this.”
At the time, Beth chose to inform her loved ones about the diagnosis in a letter.
“As most of you know, I’ve spent a lifetime facing tests and challenges I didn’t see coming and certainly never expected,” she wrote in the note, which was obtained by RadarOnline. “I’ve been dealt my share of unexpected blows over the course of my almost 50 years but nothing as serious as the one I heard from my doctors two weeks ago when they uttered those dreaded three words, ‘You have cancer.’ ”
“After months of a nagging cough, a routine checkup resulted in a diagnosis of stage II throat cancer,” she confirmed. “I have what is referred to as a T2 Tumor in my throat that is blocking my breathing. My doctors are suggesting immediate treatment and surgery before the disease progresses.”
During a two-hour special on A&E, Dog & Beth: Fight of Their Lives, Dog received a life-changing phone call — a pathology report that said his wife showed no signs of cancer.
Speaking on camera, the reality star said, “If you love me, Lord, you’ll let me die first. Don’t let me bury Bethy.”
Turning toward his family and his wife, Dog delivered the good news.
“No cancer. There is a God. This could be a miracle. This could be a healing,” he said. “[The doctor] said if I wasn’t such a good husband it wouldn’t have worked out that great. Oh, I can breathe. Beth Chapman, you did it.”
Beth is survived by husband Dog and their children: Cecily Chapman, Bonnie Chapman, Garry Chapman and Dominic Davis.