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STATEMENT FROM ROBIN GIBB’S DOCTORS
Robin Gibb confounds his doctors!
The remarkable Robin Gibb has confounded Dr. Andrew Thillainayagam, his physician and gastroenterologist, Dr. Peter Harper, his medical oncologist, Mr Roger Springall, his colorectal surgeon, and Dr. John Goldstone, anaesthetist in charge of the intensive care team at The London Clinic, with his indomitable fighting spirit and remarkable physical endurance.
Dr. Thillainayagam, of Imperial College Healthcare, explained:
?Despite having advanced colorectal cancer, Robin responded extremely well to Dr. Harper?s aggressive chemotherapy treatment, but went on to need two emergency operations in the space of two months. In the aftermath, Robin developed the feared complication of pneumonia when he was very weak and fighting to recover from life saving surgery for peritonitis. He failed to respond to chest physiotherapy and intravenous antibiotics. Therefore, I had to transfer him to intensive care for non-invasive, assisted ventilation. Unfortunately, he continued to have worsening respiratory distress and lost consciousness for a number of reasons. Eventually, he developed serious respiratory failure and was unable to ventilate his lungs on his own. We had to place him on artificial ventilation.
The prognosis was very grave, given that Robin had brain swelling from liver failure, a severe pneumonia and a weakened immune system from malnutrition. I have managed Robin?s series of acute medical problems very aggressively according to his explicit wishes. However, 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.
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.
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.
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 road ahead for Robin remains uncertain but it is a privilege to look after such an extraordinary human being?.