Hearing about the passing of Joan Rivers was truly heartbreaking. She was a unique woman who had the incredible talent of making people laugh, even at themselves. I grew up watching her on television, and she gave my family and me many happy moments. I was lucky enough to have Joan as a guest on my show and was inspired by her humor, energy and nature. Her openness about her past health struggles on the show gave people hope that with perseverance and a positive outlook, anything is possible. I grieve along with her daughter, Melissa, and she and her family are in our thoughts and prayers.
We don’t have all the details about what exactly happened to Joan during her endoscopy that put her in the hospital. Reports have stated that she was undergoing an endoscopy for a vocal cord procedure as an outpatient, meaning she was expected to go home the same day. This belies the danger inherent in these types of treatments and all procedures for older adults. At 81, Joan was at significantly higher risk than younger individuals for complications from the procedure, which may or may not have been unavoidable. We may never know exactly why Joan ran into trouble in the endoscopy clinic, but the current investigation will likely reveal if anything that happened was avoidable.
No matter what comes from the investigation, one thing is for certain – Joan will truly be missed and her wit and legacy will never be forgotten.