Joan Rivers is in a medically induced coma, Melissa asks for prayers

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Yesterday we heard that venerable comedian Joan Rivers had suffered cardiac arrest and stopped breathing during a vocal cord operation at a clinic in New York. Rivers, 81, was rushed to Mount Sinai hospital, where she was initially pronounced in critical condition and later upgraded to stable. Joan’s daughter Melissa flew to be by her side, and has issued a statement that her mother is “resting comfortably” and that we should keep her in our thoughts and prayers.

Sources tell The NY Daily News and US Weekly that Joan is in a medically induced coma and that doctors are waiting until the weekend to revive her. This is so sad. Friends of Joan’s are shocked to hear this news because she was vital and very much herself right up until her surgery. I’ll quote People here as they have a summary of this worrying situation:

As Joan Rivers continues to fight for her life in a New York hospital, her daughter, Melissa, provided an update on her mother’s condition late Thursday.

“I want to thank everyone for the overwhelming love and support for my mother,” Melissa said in a statement. “She is resting comfortably and is with our family. We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.”

The Fashion Police star, 81, was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital on Thursday after complications occurred during a throat procedure on her vocal cords. She has reportedly been placed in a medically induced coma after being upgraded from critical to stable condition.

Meanwhile, those who saw the actress just a day ago say they are “shocked” by the news.

“Joan was energetic and boisterous,” a source tells PEOPLE about the star’s appearance at an event promoting her new book, Diary of a Mad Diva. “She looked amazing [and] was high-energy.”

Like her usual sharp-tongued self, Rivers “had everyone laughing, and it didn’t stop for an hour,” the source adds.

[From People]

The NY Daily News reports that Joan did a standup act on Wednesday night, right before her surgery Thursday, and that she was joking about her mortality. She said “I could go at any moment. I could fall over right here and you all could say, ‘I was there!‘”

The Daily News also has the detail that Joan’s surgery wasn’t planned prior to her visit to the clinic. They state that “Rivers had struggled with vocal trouble for the past year, and finally went Thursday for a diagnosis.” So it sounds like the surgery was an on-the-spot decision. If that was my family member I would have a lot of questions like: did they properly inform Joan of the risks of this type of surgery, were they monitoring her vital signs during the operation, are vocal chord operations usually done on an outpatient basis for people Joan’s age, and did they have the equipment in house to revive her? I would also dig as deep as I could into that doctor and clinic’s records to see if they have a history of malpractice. Of course accidents happen but when someone close to you is suffering you want answers.

Our hearts go out to Joan and to her family. We are thinking of her and hoping she pulls through this.

Exclusive... Joan Rivers Departing On A Flight At LAX

The 56th Annual Grammy Awards Pre Grammy Gala

Joan Melissa Rivers on Extra

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130 Responses to “Joan Rivers is in a medically induced coma, Melissa asks for prayers”

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  1. It is what it is says:

    Get better Joan

    • Gea says:

      Get better soon Joan!

    • Belle Epoch says:

      “Stable” actually is not a medical condition. You can be “stable” and dead. To me this report sounds very worrisome – and at age 81 why was she not in a hospital to begin with??

    • homegrrrl says:

      She’s like licorice, either you love her or you don’t. I love her on FP and especially after watching the documentary about her life. As a fellow wanna be comedienne, she is iconic, authentic and hard working. God love her octogenarian work ethic, and my most sincere prayers go out for her full recovery.

  2. Brin says:

    Prayers for Joan and Melissa.

  3. jessica6 says:

    So sad to hear. Can someone possibly explain to me why a patient is placed in a medically induced coma, then later revived? I’m rather ignorant about these things.

    Well, Joan, my dear, if you are meant to pass out of this world now, then you pass. Life, and time, is fleeting, and there we all go. My sympathy to her family.

    BTW, I always love using one of Joan’s comeback lines whenever I tell a very off-colour joke or make a politically correct statement, and I’m met with shock and disgust. I reply, “Oh, grow up!”.

    • lkaye says:

      They place you in a medically-induced coma for a few reasons, but in this situation I am thinking that when she went into cardiac arrest her brain was deprived of oxygen for awhile and they are unsure how long. To hopefully minimize brain damage (due to the lack of oxygen during the cardiac arrest to the brain), they induce a coma to decrease the amount of “work” your brain normally does while awake. This hopefully decreases the amount of brain damage done during the period it was without oxygen. I hope this makes sense.

      • jessica6 says:

        Ikaye, thank you so very much for taking the time to explain this to me, and yes, it makes perfect sense.

      • Talie says:

        OMG… I really hope she doesn’t have severe brain damage. For someone with such a sharp mind that would be devastating!

        I just hope she pulls out of this.

      • Deeana says:

        The “medically induced coma” is also used when the patient is ventilator dependent.

        From what I’ve read Joan was having an endoscopic procedure. For these types of diagnostic procedures “IV conscious sedation” is often used. The patient is administered a combination of the drugs Versed and Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, which depresses the breathing center in the brain.

        She could have had too much medication or she could have just had a bad reaction to a standard dose. There is always risk associated with anesthesia.

        In my own family, my grandfather had a surgery at age 87 and sadly, he never woke up. But recently a 92 year old family member had a two hour hip surgery and did just fine.

        I have been a fan of Joan’s for a long, long time. I am glad she was doing what she liked best right up to the night before this happened. And I hope she has an Advance Directive in place to assist Melissa in making decisions.

    • Dani says:

      My dad was put in a medically induced coma when his lungs collapsed. The doctors said it’s to give your body a chance to stop fighting. As said above, it’s also to prevent brain damage, because once your heart stops, after 11 minutes or something like that (maybe 12?) with no oxygen to the brain, you’re legally considered brain damaged. My dad was in a coma for 10 days before his organs gave out on their own. There is no sure bet in these situations, sadly.

    • skipper says:

      My daughter has severe epilepsy. Last year we could not get her seizures under control with any kind of medication. Not even emergence medications like Valium and Ativan. We thought she was going to go brain dead and her doctor wanted to have her transported to a hospital in Tampa to have put on a Versa drip that would put her into a medically induced coma until the seizures stopped. Luckily, her seizures finally stopped right before we were going to have her transported to the hospital. It was a very scary experience.

    • Tania says:

      Jessica, she’s also likely being cooled. It’s called a hypothermia protocol where they cool your body to a lower temperature for 24 hours to decrease oxygen consumption and protect the brain. During this time they will completely sedate the patient and paralyze their muscles. Obviously she is intubated and on a ventilator. What will matter in the end is not whether her heart still beats but whether she will actually wake up. If she was down for too long or if CPR was not started or appropriately done she has a poor chance of recovery. I hope for the best for her.

    • Jenny says:

      As a former ICU/CCU RN I am almost 100% positive that if she suffered a cardiac arrest (the heart quit pumping) and then was revived (CPR, medication and/or defibrillation) she was then placed in a coma while they initiated the hypothermia protocol. That’s where they cool the body in an effort to reduce the brain swelling (which happens after a cardiac arrest bc no oxygen was going to the brain bc the heart pumps the blood which carries the oxygen). The body must be cooled for 24 hours before they start the rewarming process. Which everything usually takes 48 hours. After rewarded they’ll take away sedation meds and see if she will wake up. If not, time for a CT scan of the brain. After getting those results te doctors will be able to inform the family more appropriately about the chances of survival. Hope all that made sense.

    • FLORC says:

      I like Dani’s answer. A drug induced coma puts the brain on more of a standby mode. Not shut down, but not active and can reboot when ready. Saving energy as a result. This is the easiest way I can explain it without getting technical terminology involved.

      It happens for a few reasons. Lack of oxygen, Brain swelling, infections, fevers. This isn’t an exhausted list.

      Once Joan’s health concerns are under control it may take several attempts to wake her up, but that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless.
      As an example of recent times Formula 1 racer Michael Schumacher was placed in a drug induced coma to prevent brain swelling among other concerns. He stayed that way for months. The longer he’s under the longer the road to recovery would be if possible at all. It took several attempts to wake him, but it happened and he is recovering. Optimistic was tossed around.

      Dani
      That’s awful you lost your father. For what it’s worth I’m sure it was peaceful.

      And with heartbeats and death. The link won’t post, but look up wiki clinical death. The page covers it well and have numerous links to what fails, what can reboot, and how long until legally/clinically deceased. Also, a tie in for organ donation since the tissue still needs to be oxygenated.

  4. YourHatIsOnFire says:

    As someone who didn’t grow up with her comedy sketches, I only know her by how mean-spirited and awful she was to others. Therefore, while this may sound bad, I don’t think the world will really shed a tear if she passes. Or at least I won’t.

    • jessica6 says:

      True, she has been “rough” on many occasions, but you have to understand what this woman endured in the industry; how many people treated her husband like utter sh*t, how many people treated Joan like utter sh*t, her battles with network execs, and how many times she was backstabbed by the industry. It’s no surprise she’s full of venom. I’m not condoning her behaviour at times, but as a strong, vengeful woman myself, I know EXACTLY where Joan is coming from – like me, she takes NO sh*t – if it’s thrown in her face, she throws it right back even harder.

    • eliza says:

      Honestly, this is totally unnecessary. No one is asking you to shed a tear but this is a woman with a daughter and grandson and friends who love her.

      I find your post a bit mean spirited.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I think that is the most unkind and insensitive remark I’ve ever seen on here. She has a daughter who loves her very much, and a grandson who does as well, along with many friends and fans. I stopped watching her show awhile back because she said some things I found offensive, but I will be sad for her and her family if she dies. And I think many tears will be shed. You might want examine your own heart to find what makes it so cruel.

      • Chris says:

        Nicely said GNAT

        (And re flinging sh*t back at the thrower….damn sight smarter to keep one’s own hands clean)

    • Lilacflowers says:

      Joan Rivers broke through during a time when mean-spirited comedy was a strong and popular trend and definitely not welcoming to women. She was mild compared to the likes of Don Rickles, Buddy Hackett, and Lenny Bruce. She broke through many gender barriers to keep her career going and had to develop an edge. The harsh things done to her resulted in her husband’s suicide.

      I wish her well. My prayers are with her and her family.

      • Steph says:

        Exactly! That woman endured so much in the industry and paved the way for others. I hope she bounces back quickly. My husband and My guilty pleasure is watching Joan on fashion police ……she is sooooo politically incorrect that it is oddly refreshing.

      • Louminary says:

        And she is self deprecating as well! It’s not like she’s only mean spirited to others, she mocks herself and for some reason for me that makes it more acceptable.
        Plus, she’s funny!

    • Lucy2 says:

      I never really cared for her comedy either, but watched the documentary about her and came away with a whole new respect for everything she went through to get her career.
      Regardless, she’s a human being with family and friends who love her, and that’s what matters. Her life might not impact yours, but she matters to them.

      • MaiGirl says:

        ITA. While I had some idea of what she went through as a female comedian already because I’m a pop culture junkie and aware of sexism, the documentary showed that it was worse than I ever thought. The old boys network made it a sport to screw her over, and even still, she kept finding ways to succeed and open doors for others. Sometimes I find her humor mean, tasteless, and lacking dignity (saw a recent tape of her stand up and cringed on her behalf. It was kind of like Cloris Leachman on Dancing with the Stars when she took off her wig and rolled on the floor during one of her performances. Kind of horrifying!), but that doesn’t make her any less of a pioneer. I am grown up enough to admire her without having to agree with her. Get well soon, Joan!

    • kcarp says:

      Really she just called people out on their bull****. She is still a person. I hate it when someone says mean spirited. People seriously need to grow a pair.

      • Artemis says:

        No she doesn’t. Adele never attacked her so why did she fatshame that woman? Or her Holocaust jokes? I’m sure Ariel Castro’s victims deserved the ‘jokes’ that she aimed at them. Just recently, she voiced her pro-Israel stance and didn’t give a crap about the death of Palestinian civilians, children.

        She’s getting worse each year and the defence that she came from a different time is ridiculous since time have changed yet Rivers hasn’t. Not that this is an ideal world but female comedians do have more of a platform now. She doesn’t need to use that type of humour because there are plenty that don’t and are more successful (Amy Poehler and Tina Fey come to mind) than she ever was. And more loved. It’s a shame also that a lot of times her attacks are aimed at women and not the ‘horrible mens’ that hurt her in the past.

        That said, I don’t wish her death or illness. That’s a step too far but she is a terrible human being nonetheless. People tore Madonna apart because she used the n-word for her white son (rightfully so) but even that woman is kinder than Rivers and would never blast war victims, past or present. What did those people do to her? Nothing.

      • Lori says:

        ^^^^Everything that Artemis said. I would put Joan River’s style of comedy in the same category as Chelsea Handler’s. Mean spirited.

      • Heather says:

        IIRC, she was also either cautioned or ditched outright from one of the QVC-type jewellery hawking shows for being nasty on-air. I get that it’s normally part of her schtick, but why was she being so horrible on a home-shopping network?

      • Nancito says:

        +1,000,000 Artemis!!

      • Bob Loblaw says:

        It’s ridiculous, when the woman is possibly terminally ill, that you’re concerned her bitter comedy didn’t suit the Home Shopping Network. People on TV are people, just because they make their living peddling themselves doesn’t make them less human. Have some compassion for this wife, mother and grandmother whether or not you thought she was “funny”. You’re like children, with no concept of family or mortality.

      • SAzalea says:

        Not to mention that if she was male, people would be a lot less offended. Good for you Joan!! And honestly, except for maybe once or twice, she was just saying what the rest of us were thinking, or would think if we were witty enough. At the end of the day, it is so clear she is a hard working women with a very good heart!!! I never heard her – really – with bad upon anyone. When she made that TMZ comment about Gaza, she was frustrated and later said her words were taken out of context. Love her!! And yes, I am part Arab!! She just wanted peace like most of us do.

      • Sal_ says:

        Good on you Artemis, good to see another person with a pair to stand up for what is right.

      • Sal_ says:

        I think to tell the truth about her as YHIOF is the true meaning of to grow a pair. It takes guts to tell the truth about someone when others are being saccharine and painting her as a saint. YHIOF certainly has at least 3 pairs imo.

    • FingerBinger says:

      @YourHatIsOnFire What you call mean-spirited is what I call it telling it like it is.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Oh my god, the woman is on her f*cking death bed–now is not the time.
      Have some tact.

      • Sumodo1 says:

        Joan hosted the Tonight Show during a time that was beyond stressful for my family and me. I will be grateful forever that my mother and I could sit down in front of the tv with some Grand Marnier to sip and forget everything while Joan was on. Hold on, Joan Rivers.

  5. PunkyMomma says:

    This is sad. I guess the big question is how long was Joan’s brain deprived of oxygen. So, so, sad. My heart goes Melissa and Cooper. I hope Joan had an advance directive in place – it’s a great help to families in this situation.

    • jessica6 says:

      A quick aside to this: does anyone else here think her daughter, Melissa, resembles Melissa Gilbert from ‘Little House on the Prairie’? I do – it’s almost uncanny!

      The grandson looks adorable.

  6. Frida_K says:

    I hope she gets better soon.

    One never would have expected this for Joan Rivers. Here’s hoping that she pulls through and uses this for joke fodder for many years to come. She’s a tough lady, and she’s been through a lot. If anyone can pull out of the situation and later use it for jokes, she can.

    All best wishes to Joan and her loved ones!

    • decorative item says:

      I know, right? I can hear all the, “When I met Jesus” jokes now.
      All the best to her and her family.

  7. eliza says:

    Here’s hoping the best for Joan on a speedy recovery .

    This must be very difficult for Melissa.

  8. lkaye says:

    Joan Rivers, unlike the people who call themselves “feminists” today, was the true definition of feminism and female power. She was a trail blazer for all of us and a true role model. Get better Joan!!!!!

    • PennyLane says:

      I have to admit that even as mean spirited as Joan Rivers can sometimes seem, I have always admired her for having the guts to make abortion jokes on national television in the 1960′s.

      Noone else was doing that at the time. Nobody.

      • Montréalise says:

        Joan Rivers has always poked fun at sacred cows and said things that others may have thought but were too polite to say out loud. In an era of political correctness, she has the guts to not be politically correct. I hope she makes a full recovery and returns to what she does best – making us laugh.

  9. mystified says:

    Love her. True, her humor is often mean (as most comedians’ is from time to time), but also courageous compared to someone like Letterman. Letterman, like a true bully, only picks on people the “cool” people don’t like. Rivers has the cojones to pick on everyone.

    I am definitely praying for her and her loved ones.

  10. Barrett says:

    She can cross the line but man sometimes she is so hysterical. I admit I’ve enjoyed her. She is groundbreaking as a female comedian. I hope she pulls through. I would miss her!

  11. Victoria 1 says:

    Seriously, I saw Joan’s documentary a while back and I really respect her. She’s a sweet, tough old broad. The fact that she values her employees and pays for their kids education – herself by writing a check, to me, that shows character. Yeah she’s mean at times but let’s be serious, some of those celebrities have it coming!

    • Nicolette says:

      I saw it too, and feel the same. She has a very strong work ethic and was constantly on the go, full of energy. I may not have always liked some of her jokes and found them to be cringe worthy at times, but mostly she made me laugh. She looks great, dresses impeccably and has a very sharp mind for her age with a quick wit. I agree, some of the celebrities most definitely have it coming with their antics. I wish her well and truly hope she pulls through this. As strong willed as she is she just might. Praying for her.

    • delorb says:

      IMO, anyone who’s seen her documentary understands that its all just a joke. That its part of her act. I can remember her file cabinets stuffed with jokes that she’s written over the years. Or her acts of kindness that don’t get publicized. More often than not, she said what I was thinking when it came to certain celebrities. But of course they don’t have a sense of humor about themselves.

  12. Esmom says:

    Scary. Wishing her a full recovery.

  13. Jen34 says:

    On the spot decision? To me that means it must have been cancer or something urgent that needed to be dealt with. Otherwise I think they usually wait enough time to monitor what meds you need to stop taking. It stinks when your parents get old. Best wishes to her and her family.

    • Dani says:

      Yep this – had to be pretty serious for basically emergency surgery. Usually for such an invasive thing they monitor you for a week-month, watch your meds, heart rate, blood pressure etc.

    • Nicolette says:

      If it was cancer or something serious why didn’t they transport her to a hospital to have the surgery done? I don’t understand why something was done in a clinic, especially considering her age.

  14. Lucy2 says:

    I find it surprising that an outpatient facility would decide on the spot to operate on a woman of her age, without an ok from her primary care doctor or other specialists.
    I hope she pulls through, best of luck to her.

    • FingerBinger says:

      It was supposed to be a minor procedure. Then again when you reach a certain age there’s no such thing as a minor procedure. This could have easily happened at a dentist’s office too. Things can go awry during any surgery.

      • lucy2 says:

        That’s what I’m thinking though, if it was minor, then it probably wasn’t urgent. I would think that with anyone of that age, they’d say go see your physician and we’ll schedule it when you get the all clear to be anesthetized.

    • Size Does Matter says:

      And if it was on-the-spot, she probably didn’t follow the pre-anesthesia protocol of nothing by mouth after midnight, etc.

    • Sassy says:

      I felt the same way until I read the credentials of the physicians who practice at the Yorkville Clinic. Very, very impressive resumes. These are some of the top gastroenterologists in the country. She was in very good hands.

      http://www.yorkville-endoscopy.com/staff.html

    • Lucrezia says:

      There are different levels of anaesthesia.

      I think you’re probably imagining general anaesthesia: someone fully unconscious, totally paralysed with breathing tubes etc. That’s a serious procedure and you’re supposed to fast because it also paralyses your stomach muscles and cough reflex: food/fluid can easily flow the wrong way, and you won’t automatically cough it up – you’ll inhale it and choke. (In an emergency surgery they put a tube down your nose to suction out your stomach.)

      But endoscopies (which is simply putting a camera down your throat) are generally done under conscious sedation: you’re not paralysed, you’re conscious enough to respond to commands. You’re just relaxed enough not to panic. Depending on which drugs (and how much), you may even remember the whole thing. (Laughing gas, like you’d be given at the dentist or during childbirth, is one form of twilight sedation.) They usually recommend fasting, just in case, but there’s not the same choking risk as under general.

  15. Amy says:

    Add me to the chorus of people hoping she comes out of this, and who feels for Melissa at what is clearly a terrible moment in her life. But “sudden surgery” and “vocal chord” sounds sounds sketchy. I can’t help but wonder if it was a neck lift gone bad.

  16. jenny12 says:

    Sending her love and prayers.

  17. Kate2 says:

    I’m not fan of her show but I respect what she had to go through in her career and life. Anyone who has been able to have a career as long as hers in that business deserves that. She was on Louis once and she was great. And I’m sorry for her friends and family. Best wishes to her, I hope she pulls through.

    • Green Girl says:

      This, exactly.

      I feel so sorry for her family, especially as this situation went from zero to 60 in hardly any time. Prayers for all of them.

  18. Christin says:

    I don’t think there is enough information to judge whether the clinic made any error. For example, if polyps are discovered during a colonoscopy, they are often removed right then for biopsy. They don’t wake you up to discuss it; they handle it at the moment. It is possible the endoscopy showed a polyp. Endoscopy is done as outpatient where I live, so I’m not seeing anything odd about that.

    When people get older, things can go wrong suddenly — even when surgery is planned and done in a hospital. Hopefully she can recover, but my gut feeling is that she may have a long road ahead of her.

  19. Frodo lives says:

    This “human” has said that Palestinians deserve to be dead. I Do Not feel bad for her.

    • Joan says:

      I was thinking the same thing. However, I wholeheartidly believe that Joan regretted her comments after getting caught on an “off”-moment rant. She can spit fire at times but I don’t think she is that cruel. We have all had off-coloured moments and said things we regret.

    • Diana says:

      I hope she recovers. But I do agree that those comments were awful, I was truly disgusted. Never really liked her humour actually.

  20. TheOriginalKitten says:

    Sending positive vibes.

  21. aenflex says:

    John Mayer had a vocal chord procedure done in the office, I think it’s pretty standard?

  22. Malene says:

    What Artemis said.

    • Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

      I find myself agreeing with this. It stuck with me that if she made fun of Ariel Castro’s victims is no joke it would be verbal assault and they went through enough.

  23. JudyK says:

    81 is not that old, especially for someone as vibrant and full of life and spunk as Joan. Wishing for a full recovery…she is a loved person.

    • Deeana says:

      From a medical perspective, yes, 81 IS that old.

      • Christin says:

        +1. No matter how vital someone seems at that age, the body is aged.

        In this situation, she’s had multiple other elective surgeries that may have put her body to a point that it could not take anymore. Even these lightly sedated tests pose risks for elderly patients.

  24. Mrs. Wellen Melon says:

    Every woman doing standup today owes a giant debt of gratitude to Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller. They were the ones with the machetes who bushwhacked through the jungle.

    Joan will bring that same spirit to her recovery. God bless her and her family.

  25. HK9 says:

    Whenever I doubt that I can be who I am and succeed, I think of Joan. She does what she does with everything in her, takes no shit from anybody, and gives to charity in an authentic way. I may not always like what she says , but I have a huge respect for her. I’m sending positive thoughts her way….

  26. Heather says:

    I’m not in the US so I hope someone can explain. Why is an 81 year-old woman having a medical procedure outside of a hospital to begin with? Isn’t the element of risk one that should translate into her being in an actual hospital where there is better response time in the event of an emergency?

    • Christin says:

      Where I live in the U.S., an endoscopy, colonoscopy, etc., are done in an outpatient setting near a hospital campus. I do know that colonoscopies are not recommended after age 75, even if there is a family history of colon cancer.

      I’m sure the doctors and clinics cannot age discriminate, but things get trickier after a certain age. I take my father to a clinic for his sedated tests, and notice that the much older patients have a tougher time coming out of the sedation in recovery.

    • Esmom says:

      Even bigger outpatient surgeries are often done in clinics, too. I was at one myself twice for elective foot surgery and saw people there of all ages, for many different types of procedures. It’s not like a it was a hole in the wall place or anything, it was an outpost of a highly regarded university hospital in a big city, as Joan’s probably was too.

      I think it’s to keep hospitals more free for the really complex and/or emergency surgeries. I can’t imagine how busy a hospital would be, actually, if every surgery that people elect to do was to happen in a hospital.

      • Christin says:

        My spouse’s rotator cuff surgery was done this year in an outpatient clinic owned by several physicians. They handled things from ortho to GYN surgeries. I was a little unnerved because one thinks it must be done in a hospital, yet I was looking at the hospital next door while waiting.

        They send patients home the same day for surgeries that use to require overnight stays.

  27. Leprechaun says:

    I have to admit that I generally don’t like Joan’s sense of humor BUT I respect her very much as a human as I’ve heard a bit of what she went through in her career and it was remarkable. She was even homeless for a time, at the beginning of her career and had to sleep in a hotel lobby. I can’t begin to think of how scary it would be to be a woman and be homeless. Then she had to deal with her husband’s suicide. She is one strong and gutsy lady!

    As for those who don’t appreciate her humor and don’t care about her current situation, they’re entitled to their own opinion. I get tired of people (invariably women) who try to shame others into thinking like them. Part of life is learning to deal with others who think differently than you. You don’t get there by shutting out others’ voices and clamoring to keep others from giving their opinions. I don’t think that’s fair play. You’re entitled to disagree with me and say so as long as you don’t try to shut me down entirely.

    I’m sending my prayers to Joan and her family, as well as those poor souls who are being slaughtered by ISIS. I do hope for better news on both fronts.

  28. old gregg says:

    The jokes are going to write themselves when she pulls through. If you think she’s unfiltered now, wait until she’s out of the hospital. It’s exciting to think about.

    On the other hand, if Joan doesn’t make it, I actually think I’ll be a mess. I cried when Michael passed, but I usually shrug off every other celeb death. However, Joan was a major part of my childhood. I used to watch her talk show every day. I didn’t want to be like any singers, models, or actresses growing up, I wanted to be like Joan, Tracy Ullman, and Whoopie Goldberg. They were loud, sometimes crass, and a little weird. I felt like I could relate, and that was very comforting. I didn’t grow up on the safest and happiest environment, so their comedy was my safe haven. When Joan goes, one of the few happy memories of my childhood will be gone.

    • Leprechaun says:

      Old Gregg, I think that Joan would be pleased and honored to know how important her influence was in your life. And I think that she knows how influential she’s been to women by opening doors to them that never were open before. In the 70s there actually were two different listings for jobs in the newspaper – jobs for women and jobs for men. As in, don’t bother to apply for those for men. The jobs for women were secretary, teacher, librarian, and retail help. Those rules were written in stone. How Joan was able to succeed in spite of severe resistance and restrictions to her being a part of the comedy “club” is a testament to her sheer willpower and guts.

      I happen to think that if it’s Joan’s time, her spirit will feel all of the love and gratitude sent by people like you as it departs. Love is never wasted.

      • Sal_ says:

        I actually hope that if she pulls through she becomes more sedate, more thoughtful, considered and less mean-spirited. An experience like this changes and humbles a person. So hopefully she will learn from this and change her ways.

  29. jwoolman says:

    She’s someone I would like to see make it past 100. Only 19 years to go, Joan, please try.

  30. Cinderella says:

    Stay with us Joan.

    My heart goes out to Melissa (and Cooper). She is so close to her mom, and the loss would be very heavy.

  31. Nicolette says:

    Really hoping that it is not her time and she pulls through this. She’s always joking about her demise, but I can see her spirit just being so annoyed that she can’t get up and get back to work and attend to her full schedule. Come on Joan!!!! If anyone has the will to make it, it’s you.

  32. Veronica says:

    I feel for her daughter. I hope that she is fine. Trust me, no one wants to see their mother die – whether you loved them or not– it’s a difficult time to go through. Prayers for her.

  33. Chinoiserie says:

    I am very pessimistic about medicaly induced come after what happened to Michael Schumacher. And Joan is 81. If she does not get better in a couple of days I do not think she will at all.

  34. Catriona says:

    My prayers to Joan, Melissa and the Rivers family.

  35. SorryLove says:

    This is very sad. Have always enjoyed her acerbic wit, and hope Joan gets better. I really question that surgery on vocal chords is minor though. I had my thyroid removed. It required a very good and experienced surgeon. I was only 40 when I had it done outpatient. For an 81 year old woman, I seriously question her Doctors choice to do outpatient. I wish I had done mine in a hospital due to how much harder a surgery than I thought it would be. I will be praying for Joan and her family.

  36. StefD says:

    I really dont get Ms Rivers sense of humor. Im on the side who finds it rather mean spirited. However, she’s still a human being with a family that loves her. As mean and nasty as I think she is at times, I would still feel bad for her family if she doesnt survive this. Losing a mother, grandmother,friend…..its still difficult no matter how you look at it.

  37. MAC says:

    Lots have been said about her but she usually was so full of life. If it was an on the spot decision of surgery I hope that she had blood work done first? I do not want to know I just want to put it out there that it is important to have all the pre operation “stuff” done when its not a rush surgery like from a car accident.

    Her daughter seems to truly love her mom. Prayers

  38. Mulligan says:

    I suspect that the minor procedure she had done was a nasopharyngoscopy, a procedure where a small flexible scope is placed in the nose and directed down the back if the throat to look at the vocal cords. It is typically done in the office under very minimal sedation, mostly a numbing medicine sprayed on to prevent a gag response.

    Very rarely, patients can experience vocal cord or throat spasm induced by whatever pathology is wrong with their throat or the scope itself. This instantly cuts off their airway and if not fixed quickly will lead to a cardiac arrest. The emergency treatment (which could have been done in the office or ER) usually involves creating a tracheostomy hole to get air into the lungs and bypass the closed throat. It wouldn’t surprise me if we find out later this was done.

  39. Jeff says:

    She makes the world a better place. I really hope she comes back because I feel like crying right now. There is no one like her in this world.

  40. Veronica says:

    Speaking as somebody who works in the medical field, ALL surgical operations come with safety risks. It’s never entirely clear how a person’s body will react to anesthetic drugs or the invasive trauma of the surgery – not to mention the risk of infection, the recovery period, etc. – which is why I get so frustrated with the commercialization of major procedures like gastric bypass. The risk only increases with aging, so to be brutally honest, the fact that she’s in her 80s and still getting routine cosmetic surgeries was high risk on its own. I hope for her family’s sake that she pulls through, and it’s a shame if she doesn’t.

  41. Labratt says:

    Prayers are sent your way. We love you Joan! We love you long time.

  42. lily says:

    When my kids were little and we were talking about God I remember telling them that it tells you something about Him that he made us to love to laugh. Whether you like her sense of humor or not I have a tremendous amount of respect for those that have made it their life mission to making us laugh. Sometimes the world is a tough place and we need it.

  43. Kathy says:

    Melissa & Cooper,
    I have been in your position with my dear Dad and Mom. No words can help you at this time. None sound right nor will mean much. Therefore, just know that she is praying for you and thinking of you at this time. As are we all.

  44. Deana says:

    According to TMZ, Joan is on life support. That means it’s over. Very sad. Will miss her.

    • jwoolman says:

      Actually, she was put on life support when she was put in a medically induced coma. That’s common. So we still don’t know anything about her chances. People can be in such comas and on life support for much longer and recover. What will really matter after that is how long her brain was deprived of oxygen, which we also don’t know.

  45. Janet says:

    Oh Jeez. I think Joan is gone. She and Robin Williams will make a great comedy team upstairs.

  46. KelT says:

    She could be difficult to listen to at times, and I couldn’t make it through the last book she wrote because of the negativity, but this is the façade she created and had to keep up for the public. Prayers for this lady who I think although has such a hard exterior, is likely a loving and caring person to the people she knows best.

  47. Howard says:

    It is not hard, by any means, to presume that the people who don’t like her humor and fast wit are usually uncomfortable about laughing at themselves… Period. The same holds true for Don Rickles comedic style.

    • Trillion says:

      Comedy is my thing but I don’t find Rickles funny. At least nothing that I’ve been exposed to. I do love Bianca del Rio and I’ve laughed at Rivers, but sometimes I don’t agree with her targets. I like to see pompous people taken down. But not children, rape victims, bomb casualties, etc. It has zero to do w/ one’s ability to laugh at themselves though. Just a taste issue. That being said, I do hope she pulls through this event and am on-board with her deserved icon status.

  48. fan says:

    Please pray for Joan Rivers that she will recover.