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Gibb responds to family after coma

Bee Gees star Robin Gibb has shown signs of recovery after waking from a coma by responding to his family, his spokesman has said.

The 62-year-old singer fell into a coma last week after contracting pneumonia in his battle against colon and liver cancer.

Spokesman Doug Wright confirmed that Robin had been able to nod and communicate with his family members, who have surrounded his bedside for almost his entire stay in a central London hospital.

A statement released by doctors at The London Clinic, where Gibbs is in intensive care, said that they had been "confounded" by his efforts in recovering from the coma he lapsed into last week. The 62-year-old star is said to have "responded extremely well" to treatments by his team of surgeons.

Dr Andrew Thillainayagam of Imperial College, Gibbs' physician and gastroenterologist, praised the singer's determination in overcoming his condition.

"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," he said. "Robin is fully conscious, lucid and able to speak to his loved ones. He is breathing on his own, with an oxygen mask."

"Robin's wife, Dwina and son, Robin-John, his son Spencer and daughter Melissa have been at his bedside every day, talking to him and playing his favourite music to him. They have been tireless in their determination never to give up on him.

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

Robin had surgery on his bowel 18 months ago for an unrelated condition but a tumour was discovered and he was diagnosed with cancer of the colon and, subsequently, of the liver. It had been thought his cancer was in remission as early as last month but the latest deterioration in his health coincides with reports of a secondary tumour.

His twin brother and bandmate Maurice died from the same bowel condition that initially led doctors to operate on Robin. His younger brother Andy, who was not part of the Bee Gees but a successful singer in his own right, died in 1988 from heart failure at 30.

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