Joan Rivers’ daughter Melissa Rivers told Mashable she is keeping her “fingers crossed, ” while doctors are bringing her mother back from medically induced coma. According to the NY Daily News, the process began Monday and will continue through Tuesday.
The 81-year-old Rivers went into cardiac arrest during a surgical procedure on her throat last Thursday. She was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital, where doctors placed her in a coma for her safety. She remains in “serious” condition.
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Once she’s awake, Doctors plan to evaluate the extent of the damage sustained by the comedienne in the minutes when she was oxygen deprived.
“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, ” a family source told the Daily News.
It’s expected that Joan Rivers’ family bring a lawsuit against Yorkville Endoscopy, the outpatient healthcare facility where she underwent the botched surgery that ended up threatening her life.
The same family source suggested that “shock and upset is turning to anger, and they are looking for someone to blame, ” according to the Daily News.
The endoscopic procedure Rivers underwent involves using a small camera to examine the vocal cords. It is considered routine, but, at the same time, any procedure which involves the throat poses a risk of laryngospasm, an involuntary muscular spasm of the laryngeal cords.
The condition typically lasts less than 60 seconds, and causes a partial blocking of breathing in, while breathing out remains easier. It may be triggered when the vocal cords or the area of the trachea below the cords detects the entry of water, mucus, blood, or other substance.
Joan Rivers’ former writing partner, Jay Redack, told the New York Post that the she had no worry at all on the night before her surgery. She said “her throat was bothering her for a long time, ” and joked that “her voice was getting more raspy, if that was possible.”