Robin Gibb Fully Awake; Confounds Doctors

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Robin Gibb has awoken from a coma in London, overcoming what his doctor calls "quite incredible odds."

In a statement Sunday, Gibb's gastroenterologis Dr. Andrew Thillainayagam said that it was Robin's "extraordinary courage, iron will and deep reserves of physical strength" that got him to a place where he is fully lucid, following a period where doctors feared the worst.

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Dr. Thillainayagam explained in the statement that Gibb's advanced colorectal cancer had "responded extremely well" to chemotherapy, but the need for Gibb, 62, to have two surgeries in two months led him to develop pneumonia, which did not respond to treatment and led to his coma.

"The prognosis was very grave, given that Robin had brain swelling from liver failure, a severe pneumonia and a weakened immune system from malnutrition," Dr. Thillainayagam explained, continuing, "Only three days ago, I warned Robin’s wife, Dwina, son, Robin John and brother, Barry, that I feared the worst. We felt it was very likely that Robin would succumb to what seemed to be insurmountable obstacles to any form of meaningful recovery. As a team, we were all concerned that we might be approaching the realms of futility."

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But, in a turnaround that doctors called "confounding" Gibb awoke from the coma. 

The doctor shared of Gibb's current state, "Robin is fully conscious, lucid and able to speak to his loved ones. He is breathing on his own, with an oxygen mask. He is on intravenous feeding and antibiotics. He is of course, exhausted, extremely weak and malnourished. Our immediate goals are to ensure that Robin’s swallowing mechanism is safe enough to allow him to eat and drink, and that he recovers enough strength to breathe effectively, without needing high levels of oxygen by mask. When this happens, we will be able to begin the process of nutritional and physical rehabilitation and may be able to move him from the intensive care unit to the ward."

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The doctor added, "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 favourite music to him. They have been tireless in their determination never to give up on him."

The doctor cautioned that the "road ahead for Robin remains uncertain" but said, "It is a privilege to look after such an extraordinary human being."