Joan Rivers dead at 81 after throat surgery complications

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joan-rivers-dead-81-surgery-life-support.jpgJoan Rivers has died in a New York City hospital nearly a week after she stopped breathing during an outpatient throat surgery, her family has confirmed in a statement. The legendary comedian was 81.

Rivers was in critical condition in a medically induced coma for several days before doctors began the waking-up process. Unfortunately, the "Fashion Police" star did not survive once the family decided to take her off the life support machines that were keeping her alive.

The family, including daughter Melissa Rivers -- who was keeping her "fingers crossed" that her mother's condition would improve -- is reportedly considering suing the clinic where Rivers had her initial surgery.

"It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers," says Melissa in a statement. "She passed peacefully at 1:17pm surrounded by family and close friends."

She continues, "My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother. Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support, and prayers we have received from around the world. They have been heard and appreciated. My mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon."
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images