Joan Rivers has died following vocal chord surgery. The comedienne was 81-years-old.
Joan stopped breathing during the surgery. She was put into and then brought out of a medically-induced coma. A family member told the New York Daily News, “The waking-up process has begun and will take until Tuesday.” They added, “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.” Sources also said, if that were the case, Joan would rather go peacefully than not live a full life.
The next day, Joan’s daughter Melissa Rivers confirmed her mother had been put on life support. Melissa also issued a statement at the time, “On behalf of my mother and our family, we are extremely grateful for all the love and support we’ve received. At this time she does remain on life support.”
The statement continued, “I know my mother would be overwhelmed by the continued outpouring of kindness and I want to thank everyone for keeping us in their prayers.”
This afternoon, TMZ.com confirms Joan has passed away, reporting “Joan’s daughter Melissa Rivers took her mom off life support so she could pass comfortably in a private room.”
The family is reportedly planning to sue. “Shock and upset is turning to anger, and they are looking for someone to blame,” says the source. “The night before, she was performing and now she is on life support. An 81-year-old should not have that procedure as an outpatient. Very ill advised.”
The death has been reported to the NYC Medical Examiner’s Office who will launch an investigation into her throat surgery.
Melissa also issued another statement confirming her mother’s death.
“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers.
She passed peacefully at 1:17 PM surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff of Mount Sinai hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother.
Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support and prayers we have received from around the world.They have been heard and appreciated.
My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”