Joan Rivers has been in a medically induced coma since Thursday, when a routine throat procedure caused her to go into cardiac and respiratory arrest.
The coma was intended to bring the comedic icon’s vital signs back to normal. Doctors began the process of lifting her out of the coma on Sunday and that process should be complete today. Only then will Joan Rivers’ only child, Melissa, find out what the long-term damage to her 81-year-old mother will be.
A source close to the family told the Daily News, “There is real concern that the part of the brain that controls motor skills may have been compromised, leaving her as either a vegetable or in a wheelchair.”
The news is more than a little upsetting to her daughter, as well as her friends.
“We are keeping our fingers crossed,” Melissa Rivers said in a statement on Sunday. She also said that her mother, Joan Rivers, was “resting comfortably” and asked that “everyone keep her in your thoughts and prayers.”
As composed as Melissa tried to sound, the source says otherwise.
They said Melissa was “totally hysterical and is at a loss for what to do (because) they won’t know the extent of the damage until Tuesday at the earliest.”
Well, that is understandable.
Joan Rivers’ long-term friend, Jay Redack, is also fighting shock and dismay. He said they went to dinner on Wednesday night and Rivers didn’t seemed at all concerned about the upcoming procedure. In fact, she had just performed that night at the Laurie Beechman Theater near Times Square.
“We talked about life, Melissa, boyfriends, tennis lessons and talked about her act,” said Redack, who has been a close friend for 40 years.
“You know how polarizing she could be, but people don’t realize what a fantastic lady she is, the charities that she supports, without fanfare, without people knowing,” Redack said. “She is a great person.”
Hopefully, the news will be good for the seemingly unbeatable Joan Rivers.