Former Miami Heat forward Lamar Odom has reportedly awoken from his coma and checked out from the Las Vegas hospital he had been in since being found unresponsive at a Nevada-area brothel. According to multiple reports, Odom came out of his coma over the weekend and has been moved to a facility in L.A. to continue his recovery. Initial reports said Odom had begun to show improvement this past weekend, opening his eyes and squeezing the hand of estranged wife Khloé Kardashian, who had been at his bedside since he was taken to the hospital two weeks ago.
Odom had checked into Love Ranch South brothel last Saturday. He was found unconscious several days later and rushed to an area hospital. He was then taken to Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas. Odom had reportedly spent $75,000 at the brothel and used cocaine while there. In a 911 tape released by police, one of the escorts who found Odom unresponsive in his room said he had ingested ten herbal Viagra tablets.
Officials tried to airlift Odom to the hospital, but he was considered too tall to fit into the helicopter. He was instead taken to a hospital in Las Vegas and had a breathing tube inserted into his trachea to keep him alive. According to multiple reports, Odom had to breathe with the aid of a ventilator.
As news of his condition spread, former teammates across the NBA, including the Miami Heat, expressed concern and love for Odom.
"You never know what a guy is going through," Dwyane Wade said about his former teammate last week before an exhibition game. "We all think we know. No one knows what individuals are dealing with, especially someone who is deemed as successful and had the whole everything in the world, you think that their life is perfect. But he's not a person who put their burden on you."
On Monday night, Odom's family released a statement on his seemingly miraculous recovery.
"Each day, Lamar is getting stronger and reaching significant milestones in his recovery,” the statement says. “We are committed to remaining by his side as a family for our champion, who we love immensely.
"Lamar has always been blessed with a tenacious, fighting spirit, overcoming insurmountable obstacles to achieve the impossible. These past few days have been no different. He is defying the odds in his toughest battle to date with God's grace.”
Odom began his NBA career in 1999 with the Los Angeles Clippers. In 2003, the Heat signed Odom as a free agent and teamed him up with a rookie named Dwyane Wade. The pair, along with Caron Butler, Eddie Jones, and Brian Grant, quickly became the nucleus for one of the most memorable and exciting Heat teams in franchise history. Odom flourished in Miami, averaging 17.1 points a game and 9.7 rebounds. The Heat had won only 25 games the season before Odom arrived, but once he was teamed up with Wade and Butler, the three young stars led Miami to the second round of the playoffs.
Odom was eventually packaged along with Butler and Grant to the Los Angeles Lakers in a trade that brought Shaquille O'Neal to Miami. But that 2003-04 Heat squad is regarded by many fans as one of the most exciting in franchise history.
In recent years, Odom has been better-known for his ties to reality-TV star Khloé Kardashian, whom he married in 2009. The pair announced their divorce in 2013.
Odom has suffered through a string of tragic events throughout his life, including the death of his mother when he was a boy and the death of his 6-month-old son, Jayden, who passed away from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 2006. He's also been public about his struggles with mental health and bouts of depression, as well as his substance-abuse issues.
"He’s one of the most giving and sharing human beings I’ve ever been around in my life," Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra said Thursday. "You always feel better when you leave a conversation or interaction with Lamar.”