Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees wakes up from coma
Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees has woken up from a coma and is also suffering from colorectal cancer, says his doctor, Dr. Andrew Thillainayagam.
Gibb remains in intensive care. Dr. Thillainayagam said in a statement that the singer is being treated for advanced colorectal cancer, which affects the colon or rectum, and had caught pneumonia as his immune system was weakened from grueling doses of chemotherapy and two operations.
A statement was released in mid-April on the singer's official website which confirmed 62-year-old Gibb fell into a coma after contracting the pneumonia. Thillainayagam reportedly told Gibb's family on April 19 that there was a possibility that the singer would not wake up from the coma. However, Gibb is now fully conscious and able to speak. He is breathing with the help of an oxygen mask and needs intravenous feeding and antibiotics.
"It is testament to Robin's extraordinary courage, iron will and deep reserves of physical strength that he has overcome quite incredible odds to get where he is now," Thillainayagam said in a statement posted on Gibb's official Facebook page.
"Robin's wife, Dwina and son, Robin-John, his son Spencer and daughter Melissa have been at his bedside every day, talking to him and playing his favorite music to him," the statment continued. "They have been tireless in their determination never to give up on him."
Last month, Gibb underwent emergency surgery to remove a blood clot in his colon. Gibb's rep confirmed the surgery, but said it was unrelated to a mysterious illness he has battled for months.
Gibb has been in and out of the hospital in recent months and has sparked concern about his health due to his frail appearance. In early February, he said doctors had removed a growth in his colon and that he felt "fantastic." A message about his latest medical procedure was posted on his website on Wednesday.
"On Monday evening, 26 March 2012, Robin Gibb underwent emergency surgery to remove a blood clot in his colon that caused perforation," the statement said. "This follows earlier surgery for a twisted intestine and is unrelated to Robin's recent illness. Robin underwent the operation successfully, he is awake and has been talking to his doctors. He is currently being monitored and resting in the hospital and his family are hoping for his full recovery."
In October 2011, a message posted on his website said he was hospitalized for four days to treat inflammation in his colon.
At the time, the singer did not say whether or not the growth was cancerous and also made no mention of chemotherapy or other treatments. Previous reports had said he was battling liver cancer.
"The prognosis is that it's almost gone and I feel fantastic and really, from now on, it's just what they could describe as a 'mopping-up' operation," Gibb said. "I'm very active and my sense of well-being is good."
Gibb recently collaborated with his son RJ for his first classical album, "The Titanic Requiem." The record commemorates the 100th anniversary of the deadly ship disaster and was released on March 27. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performed music from the album at a world premiere in Central Hall, Westminster in London on April 10. Gibb was slated to attend the premiere, but missed it due to his illness.
Gibb also underwent surgery in 2010 for a blocked intestine. His twin brother Maurice, the third member of the Bee Gees, died in 2003 at age 53 in Miami. He had suffered a cardiac arrest before an emergency surgery for an intestinal blockage.
The Bee Gees, a Grammy-winning pop and disco trio known for their falsetto sound, was formed in the late 1950s and was made up of the two brothers and their older brother, Barry. The group was best known for 1970s hits such as "Stayin' Alive," "How Deep Is Your Love," and "More Than a Woman," all of which were featured on the soundtrack of the 1977 dance film "Saturday Night Fever."
UPDATE on Monday, April 23: Robin Gibb's wife and son say the singer is doing well after waking up from his coma, adding that he had "beaten the odds" and that doctors had given him a less than 10 percent chance of living. He also asked for ice cream.