Robin Gibb, singer with the legendary British band the Bee Gees, was in a coma in hospital yesterday after contracting pneumonia in his battle against cancer.
“Sadly the reports are true that Robin has contracted pneumonia and is in a coma. We are all hoping and praying that he will pull through,” a brief statement on RobinGibb.com said.
British media reported yesterday that the 62-year-old was at a private hospital in Chelsea, west London, where wife Dwina, his three children and brother Barry — also of the group — were keeping a bedside vigil.
Gibb, part of one of the -biggest-selling groups of all time, had bowel surgery 18 months ago for an unrelated condition, but a tumor was found and he was diagnosed with cancer of the colon and the liver.
In February, Gibb said he had made a “spectacular” recovery from his treatment, sparking hopes that his cancer was in remission, but he has since experienced a sharp deterioration.
Gibb was too ill to attend Tuesday’s premiere of his first classical work, The Titanic Requiem composed with his son, Robin-John Gibb, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the luxury liner on April 15, 1912.
The work, recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, took more than two years to complete.
Gibb had been due to perform in person the song Don’t Cry Alone at the premiere, staged at the Central Hall Westminster in London.
“The one place he really wanted to be in two-and-a-half years he couldn’t be and it was heartbreaking,” Robin-John Gibb told BBC television on Thursday.
“He is still in hospital. He is fighting a lung infection. As a lot of people who have had family members or friends who have been through a cancer bout know, there are a lot of periphery problems afterwards that you have to deal with,” Robin-John said. “He will have to keep scrutiny on this for his entire life and, God willing and we are all praying for him, he comes through and makes a speedy recovery.”
Actor Leslie Phillips, 87, a close friend of the singer, was returning from a holiday in Spain to visit Gibb, newspapers said.
“It saddens me deeply — poor Robin has taken a serious turn for the worse. I feel very sad if it is true that he has only days to live,” Phillips was quoted as saying in the Sun newspaper.