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Gibb 'confounds' doctors by getting better

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:43 AM EDT, Mon April 23, 2012
Robin Gibb, one of three brothers who made up the disco group The Bee Gees, died Sunday, May 20. He was 62. Robin Gibb, one of three brothers who made up the disco group The Bee Gees, died Sunday, May 20. He was 62.
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Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
Bee Gees through the years
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Gibb is fully conscious and lucid, his doctor says
  • 3 days ago, the doctor told Gibb's family he feared the worst
  • The road ahead is uncertain for Gibb, the doctor says
  • The Bee Gees were one of the most successful British music groups

London (CNN) -- Singer Robin Gibb has "confounded" his doctors by emerging from a coma just days after they thought he might not survive it, his physician said Sunday.

Days ago, Bee Gees star Gibb was in a coma and battling pneumonia, the latest turn in health issues that include a recent battle with colon and liver cancer. Now he is "fully conscious, lucid and able to speak to his loved ones," Dr. Andrew Thillainayagam said in a statement.

"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 that happens, he may be moved out of the intensive care unit at the London Clinic, the doctor said.

"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," Thillainayagam said.

2002: Bee Gees and 'Saturday Night Fever'

The good news comes just three days after Thillainayagam warned Gibb's family "that I feared the worst.," he said. "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."

"The road ahead for Robin remains uncertain but it is a privilege to look after such an extraordinary human being," Thillainayagam said.

Gibb's wife Dwina and children Robin-John, Spencer, and Melissa have been at his bedside every day, the doctor said.

Robin Gibb's twin brother, Maurice, died in 2003 of a twisted bowel.

His brother Andy died at age 30 from a heart infection in 1988.

The Brothers Gibb -- calling themselves the Bee Gees -- soared to renown as one of the most successful British groups after the 1977 film "Saturday Night Fever" starring John Travolta was built around the group's disco songs.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, the Bee Gees have sold more than 200 million albums, and their soundtrack album to "Saturday Night Fever" was the top-selling album until Michael Jackson's "Thriller" claimed that distinction in the 1980s.

While often in the background as brother Barry sang lead vocals, Robin Gibb stepped forward on several top tunes, including "I Started a Joke" and "I've Gotta Get a Message to You." He also recorded several solo albums during his career.

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