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Sinbad's Family Reveals Heartbreaking Details About the Stroke That Left Him in a Coma

The beloved actor and comedian is slowly learning to walk again.

One of the most popular comedians of the '90s, Sinbad—born David Adkins—is known for his HBO standup specials, his role as Coach Walter Oakes on A Different World, and a handful of popular family movies. But two years ago, the his came to a halt when he suffered two back-to-back blood clots which caused an ischemic stroke, ultimately landing him in a medically-induced coma.

Since leaving the hospital nine months after this initial episode, the beloved actor and comedian has been recovering, but his family says every inch of progress has been slow and hard-won. Read on to learn the frightening story of Sinbad's stroke, and for an update on his remarkable road to recovery.

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Sinbad suffered an ischemic stroke in 2020.

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In Oct. 2020, the then 64-year-old actor developed a blood clot in his heart which traveled to his brain, resulting in an ischemic stroke. Doctors intervened quickly, performing a thrombectomy to remove the clot. Following his initial surgery, he was weak, but walking and talking, those closest to him explained. Unfortunately, he developed a second clot the following day and had to undergo a repeat thrombectomy, a procedure his family says "took a little more from him than the first surgery."

"It is out of sincere love that we share [that] Sinbad, our beloved husband and father, is recovering from a recent stroke," his family told The Hollywood Reporter via statement in Nov. 2020. "Sinbad is a light source of love and joy for many generations. While he is beginning his road to recovery, we are faithful and optimistic that he will bring laughter into our hearts soon."

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He experienced some serious complications.

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Following the stroke, Sinbad was transported to the hospital's intensive care unit, where he was put into a medically-induced coma and placed on a ventilator. This would be the beginning of a long and uncertain journey to recovery.

"It would be weeks before he would open his eyes, speak or show signs of basic mobility," his family wrote on a donation site they created to help with the actor's medical expenses. "It wasn't long before we realized he couldn't move his left side or simply hold his head up. The more time passed, the more the family learned how much had been lost."

Sinbad is now learning how to walk again.

John Sciulli/Getty Images for Fulfillment Fund

After he woke up from his coma and was finally weaned from the ventilator, Sinbad began physical therapy to improve his mobility.

"He continues to receive therapy, fighting for every inch. His progress is nothing short of remarkable," his family shared on the donation site. "Limbs that were said to be 'dead' are coming alive, and he's taking the steps necessary to learn to walk again. In his own words, 'I am not done. I will not stop fighting until I can walk across the stage again.' And neither will we."

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He's "already beaten the odds," his family says.

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Sinbad's recovery journey is far from over, the donation site says. The comedian will require continued care and therapy to regain the maximum mobility possible. However, his family remains hopeful, and says he's already exceeded his medical team's expectations. "Survival odds from this type of event are approximately 30 percent. Sinbad has already beaten the odds and has made significant progress beyond what anyone expected, but there are still miles to go," they wrote.

"The family believes, without exception, Sinbad is here because of the multitude of prayers from all who know and love him. We are eternally grateful. Every outpouring of love and the memories of how he has touched all of you have not gone unheard, unseen or unfelt. Thank you. You have lifted his spirits along the way and inspired the entire family."

The comedian also shared his own words following the harrowing health episode: "Thank God for everything He's given you, even if it's not everything you asked for. Thank God for family and hug the ones you love while you're still with them. We need each other to get through this journey. I can't wait to see you all again soon. As always, stay funky, stay prayed up."

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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