The news the Odom family, the Kardashian family, the NBA family and fans of Lamar Odom have been waiting for has finally arrived. Lamar Odom is out of his coma. He is breathing on his own without benefit of a respirator, although he has a breathing mask on, and he has spoken a few words. He has opened his eyes. But he is still in critical condition and is under heavy sedation as doctors try to reverse the damage to his organs that began to fail in the three days he was in a coma. It’s unclear if his organs have deteriorated beyond what is possible to be repaired. And then there is the neurological testing to determine if any brain damage occurred in the time Odom was unconscious until the time treatment began.
When Odom was brought in to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center for treatment on Tuesday evening, the doctors gave him a 50/50 chance of survival. The timeline they set forth was a 48 hour period. They had to see some progress; and now they have. Even though it is just one of many physical hurdles Odom has to cross to make a full recovery, it is the largest hurdle there is, regaining consciousness, brain healing.
Odom had always been a beloved figure in NBA circles when he played for the Clippers, Lakers and Heat. But he rose in fame and popularity when he met Khloe Kardashian and married her within a month after their first meeting. Their reality show was a ratings phenomenon and thrust Odom into a celebrity stratoshpere that far exceeded anything he had ever experienced as a NBA player and champion, and one that he ultimately found overwhelming.
It is that celebrity that has galvanized the world to pray for him during this week of trauma. It is also that celebrity that has made people lose their minds. Tourists in Las Vegas trek out to the brothel were he collapsed, searching for memorabilia, a keepsake or two to take back home and show the neighbors they were part of this story, at least on the periphery. The media isn’t exempt from such callousness either. One reporter, according to the Los Angeles Times, was authorized to pay $2,000 to the sex workers who found Odom unconscious if they would pose for a photograph. That’s how seedy and materialistic it has all become. The brothel is now giving tours and it wouldn’t surprise me if they rename the VIP room where Odom was stricken as the Lamar Odom Room and start selling tickets for a quick peek inside.
Miles away, Lamar Odom is unaware, in a haze of sedation. He is fighting to regain his health, if that is even possible, a return to normal. Eventually, the goal is for Odom to leave Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, to return to his life and make significant changes in his habits, to cure his addiction. But for now, what happens outside his hospital room holds little relevance. It’s what the doctors say that matter. Any day when there is positive news, it is a good day.
Today was a good day.
photo via llananba