Joan Rivers Has Tragically Died After Being Taken Off Life Support

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Joan Rivers in New York City May 2014A week after going into cardiac arrest during surgery, we regret to inform you that Joan Rivers tragically died today after being taken off life support.

On August 28th, Joan checked into Yorkville Endoscopy on East 93rd Street in New York, to undergo a routine procedure on her throat. Midway through, she stopped breathing, and went into cardiac arrest, at which point she was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and place in a medically-induced coma. When it became clear that she would not come out of the coma or be able to breathe on her own, Joan was placed on life support and moved to a private room in palliative care, so that her friends and family could visit her in peace.

Having provided that small consolation, Joan's daughter Melissa made the decision to take her mother off life support today, at which point Joan passed away at age eighty-one. Here is Melissa's statement:

“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. She passed peacefully at 1:17 PM surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff of Mount Sinai hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother.. Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support and prayers we have received from around the world.They have been heard and appreciated. My mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”

Oh man. Just so so sad. Whether you were a fan of Joan's particular brand of comedy or not, the most wonderful thing about Joan is that she didn't care one way or the other. She was who she was, and defiantly refused to be cowed by what society expected of her. She kept talking long past people found her desirable, and I can't think of a better way to honor her than by bringing that idea into my own life.

Thank you, Joan, and goodbye.

(Photo: Alberto Reyes / WENN.com)