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.
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.
Photo credit: WENN.com and FameFlynet