Joan Rivers moved to hospital room designed by Preston Baily

Joan Rivers - 2002
Joan Rivers - 2002

WASHINGTON, September 4, 2014 – Joan Rivers has been moved to a private room, out of the intensive care unit. However, sources are saying that Melissa Rivers is now agonizing over removing her mother from medical devices that are keeping her body alive.

She has been moved from ICU to a private room, decorated by Preston Baily, a celebrity-wedding planner.

“My mother has been moved out of intensive care and into a private room [and is] being kept comfortable,” Melissa said in a statement. “Thank you for your continued support.”

Rivers head been kept in a medically induced coma in hopes that she might recover from a cardiac arrest suffered during an endoscopy procedure.  The procedure, done at Yorkville Endoscopy, and which is reported to have been on her vocal cords, is under scrutiny. Experts have said that all surgery involving anesthesia has risk, but those risks are greatly increased with age. Rivers is 81.

Reports yesterday gave some hope that Rivers might be showing some improvement. However it may be that doctors wanted to take her out of the coma state in order to assess any brain damage that Rivers may have suffered. Celebrity watcher Perez Hilton is reporting that a source says “Preliminary tests appear to rule out brain dead. There seems to be some function.” However that is unsubstantiated and may just be hopeful thinking.

Rivers, a “Catskills” type comedian who often used insults in her comedy, has been the subject of numerous comments and social media that range from good wishes and praise while others have been nothing short of cruel, showing an inability to separate the person from the act.

But Rivers was as hard on herself as others, often discussing her plastic surgery and the effects of aging. Rivers was performing stand-up at New York’s Laurie Beechman Theater when she casually remarked, “It’s hard getting old. I’m getting so old. I am now 81 years old, I could die at any second! Pufft, like that.”

Writer Linda Stasi writes a first hand account of having to make a decision to end life support for her mother:

Melissa, will have to eventually face the decision to end the life of the woman who gave her life.

And that is the worst decision any child would ever have to make.

I know this because I had to face that same decision with my own mother, who also “died” but was brought back to a vegetative state because of a medical screwup.

“Sunday Morning” presents the comedienne’s take on aging, first broadcast on February 15, 2002. It is Joan Rivers at her best…

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