Gibb emerges from 12-day coma

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Copy of iol tonight nov 20 robin gibb REUTERS Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees.

Doctors praised Robin Gibb’s courageon Sunday after he beat ‘incredible odds’ to wake from a coma.

Experts at the clinic where the Bee Gees singer is in intensive care said his recovery had confounded them and could be explained only by his ‘iron will and deep reserves of physical strength’.

The 62-year-old lost consciousness two weeks ago after contracting pneumonia in his fight with colon and liver cancer.

Andrew Thillainayagam, his physician and gastroenterologist, said he had feared the worst only three days ago.

He said he and fellow doctors at the London Clinic in Harley Street felt there was little chance of a meaningful recovery in a situation possibly ‘approaching the realms of futility’.

But – following Friday night’s surprise recovery – plans are in hand to have the singer moved from the intensive care ward.

Doctors first want to ensure he can swallow well enough for him to eat and drink safely and that he can breathe without too much extra oxygen.

Gibb, who is understood to have been in a coma for 12 days, has had his wife Dwina, sons Robin-John and Spencer and daughter Melissa at his bedside every day. They been playing his favourite music to him.

Since coming out of the coma he has been lucid and able to speak to family members. They are said to have felt a miracle had happened when he said ‘Hello RJ’ to his younger son.

Gibb had initially responded well to aggressive chemotherapy treatment for advanced colorectal cancer. But the singer then required two emergency operations within eight weeks and developed pneumonia while recovering from peritonitis.

He was moved into intensive care when his illness failed to respond to chest physiotherapy and intravenous antibiotics.

Serious respiratory failure saw him lose consciousness and he was placed on artificial ventilation for his lungs. Gibb also had liver failure, severe pneumonia and a weakened immune system from malnutrition.

Dr Thillainayagam, of Imperial College Healthcare, said: ‘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.

‘He is fully conscious, lucid and able to speak to his loved ones. He is breathing on his own, with an oxygen mask.’ He said Gibb’s family had been determined not to give up on him, adding: ‘The road ahead for Robin remains uncertain but it is a privilege to look after such an extraordinary human being.’

Dr Thillainayagam said Gibb had responded extremely well to treatments by his team of surgeons. The singer had explicitly told his doctors that he wanted them to treat his illness as aggressively as possible.

Mrs Gibb has revealed that her husband broke into tears when she played him Roy Orbison’s 1962 song, Crying. His brother Barry had been singing to him to try to spark a recovery.

In February, Gibb said he had made a ‘spectacular’ recovery from cancer only to then be taken back to hospital for surgery.

He was unable to attend the premiere last month of his work The Titanic Requiem, a piece of classical music composed with his son.

He was part of the Bee Gees with Barry and Maurice and had hits across six decades with songs such as Stayin’ Alive and How Deep Is Your Love. - Daily Mail


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