Keeping hope alive. Lamar Odom's maternal aunt, JaNean Mercer, confirmed on Friday, Oct. 16, that the former NBA star had opened his eyes and regained consciousness after three days in critical condition at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas.
Mercer's rep, Alvina Alson, tells Us Weekly that Odom, 35, "gave a thumbs-up to the doctors this morning and said a few words to them." Alson noted, however, that she would not be answering any other questions about his condition, and said the family was "continuously praying and trusting in the doctors' care."
Kris Jenner — whose daughter Khloe Kardashian is still legally married to the athlete and has been by his side since Tuesday, Oct. 13 — also confirmed to Access Hollywood's Billy Bush that Odom had spoken. The site said doctors were trying to wean him off the ventilator, and stressed that even though there had been improvement, Odom was still in critical condition.
As previously reported, the Sixth Man of the Year winner was hospitalized after being found unconscious on Tuesday at the Love Ranch South brothel in Nevada. Until Friday, there had been few changes in his condition.
This morning, though, the ex-Lakers player "opened his eyes" and "grabbed the doctor's hand," a source tells Us Weekly. E! News even claimed he'd said "Hey baby" to Kardashian before falling back asleep.
"He was not brain dead," the source tells Us. "The truth is, doctors are still figuring out a lot right now."
Indeed, prior to the news of Odom's progress, his aunt issued a statement saying the family was focused on his "complete healing."
"No words can express the overwhelming gratitude we feel for the outpouring of support from around the world," she said via her rep. "Please continue to keep in your prayers, our family and Lamar, whom we deeply love, admire, and cherish. His complete healing is paramount and our primary focus. Please respect our privacy as we continue to lean on God and trust in Him during this extremely difficult time."
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