NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Joan Rivers was in a medically-induced coma Thursday night at Mount Sinai Hospital, after she went into cardiac arrest while undergoing a throat procedure at a clinic on the Upper East Side.
As CBS 2’s Don Champion reported, Rivers, 81, was rushed to the hospital around 9:30 a.m. after she stopped breathing during the procedure on her vocal cords at the Yorkville Endoscopy Clinic.
Sources said emergency medical technicians, firefighters, and medical staff at the clinic revived Rivers, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.
Sources close to Rivers told “Entertainment Tonight” that Rivers was in a medically-induced coma Thursday night, and was under a 48-hour watch in the intensive care unit.
As CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported, Rivers’ daughter, Melissa Rivers, was in California at the time. She arrived from John F. Kennedy International Airport in a black car that took her through the private gate for the hospital on Fifth Avenue late Thursday.
Soon afterward, Melissa Rivers released a statement that reads, “I want to thank everyone for the overwhelming love and support for my mother. She is resting comfortably and is with our family. We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.”
“This morning, Joan Rivers was taken to The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, where she is being attended to. Her family wants to thank everybody for their outpouring of love and support. We will provide an update on her condition as it becomes available,” hospital spokesman Sid Dinsay said.
CBS 2 reported Rivers was in critical, but stable, condition.
Rivers was scheduled to perform Friday night at Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey. That show has been postponed, 1010 WINS reported.
Rivers’ representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Neighbors on the Upper East Side joined fans all over in showing their support Thursday.
“Joan, get well, because we miss you and we love you,” said Stephen Coker of the Upper East Side.
“I expect her to go on forever,” a woman in the neighborhood said.
Meanwhile, CBS 2’s Dr. Max Gomez said even if Rivers’ throat procedure promised to be routine and outpatient, risks of serious complications are always present.
“There could be heart arrhythmias. Breathing can stop. You never know,” Gomez said. “And also, the elderly tend to metabolize medications a little bit differently.”
Just months ago, Rivers appeared on TV 10/55’s morning show joking about her age.
“The cake had so many candles on it, we didn’t bother to bake it,” she said on the program.
Rivers, a Brooklyn native and long-time Manhattan resident, has had a long and varied career.
The entertainer has logged a half-century in show business and gave rise to red carpet commentary — and the snarky criticism that often accompanies it. Her signature red carpet query: “Who are you wearing?”
Rivers hosts “Fashion Police” on E! network and co-stars with her daughter, Melissa, on the WEtv reality show, “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?” She also presides over an online talk show, “In Bed With Joan.”
Lately, she has also been busy around New York City — making the rounds at numerous events and shows, meeting cast members backstage, and promoting her book.
In 2009, Rivers emerged as the winner of NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice.” A documentary, “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,” premiered in theaters in 2010.
Rivers originally entered show business with the dream of a theatrical career, but comedy became a way to pay the bills while she auditioned for acting roles.
“Somebody said, `You can make six dollars standing up in a club,”‘ she told The Associated Press in 2013, “and I said, `Here I go!’ It was better than typing all day.”
After proving herself in comedy clubs as a rarity — a woman comedian — Rivers was a smash on her first booking on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” in 1965. “God, you’re funny,” Carson told her.
She went on to host numerous shows on television, winning an Emmy Award for her daytime talk show in 1989.
Rivers is also New York Times bestselling author. In July, she released her 11th book titled, “Diary of a Mad Diva.”
She was also nominated for a Tony Award in 1994, and even designs and sells her own line of costume jewelry.
Through the years, Rivers has paved the way for women in entertainment with her gutsy ways. Known for her racy and “tell it like it is” style, she has continued doing stand-up all along and has never disappointed fans.
“You can see when she was younger, her kind of comedy — it was very accessible to a lot of people who thought they can relate to it, and now she’s just no-holds-barred; says what she wants, and people like that,” said fan Barry Dougherty.
Kristen Cure is an aspiring comedienne who has long admired Rivers.
“I was very, very upset when I heard about Joan Rivers,” Cure said. “She’s so sassy and quick on her feet, and she’s not afraid to speak her mind, and it’s really good to see a woman like that in charge.”
Madeline Morris from Las Vegas says Rivers’ potty mouth doesn’t offend her.
“She does it for a laugh, she just makes everyone laugh,” she told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller.
Jamar Lampkin from Queens says she may be 81, but her comedy transcends generations.
“She had her own unique style and everything,” he said.
Late Thursday, fellow comedian and longtime friend Jackie Mason issued a statement about Rivers and her setback.
“I’m terribly sorry to hear this, because she’s not only a wonderful person, but a brilliant comedienne,” Mason said. “I hope she continues for another hundred years.”
Several others celebrities also issued tweets wishing Rivers well.
I’m thinking about you, @Joan_Rivers, and sending lots of love your way.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 28, 2014
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) August 28, 2014
To my dear friend @Joan_Rivers – I have known you forever. I wish you nothing but the best in this struggling time. Go get ’em girl.
— Larry King (@kingsthings) August 28, 2014
Sources told CBS 2 they consider the next 48 hours crucial. They will need to bring Rivers out of the medically-induced coma to assess her condition.
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