Reverend Jesse Jackson is still hopeful that Lamar Odom will pull through, even as the former Lakers forward lies comatose and on life support in a Las Vegas hospital.
“He’s a very sick man,” Jackson told The Daily Beast Wednesday via phone a few hours after paying a visit to the ailing Odom.
Jackson explained that he happened to be in Las Vegas on his way to Los Angeles, where he’s scheduled to appear at a Beverly Hills gala fundraiser for his Rainbow Push organization on Friday, when he heard Odom had been hospitalized.
He visited the hospital for a few hours and spent about 30 minutes with the basketball champ and TV personality, who was surrounded by friends and family including ex-wife Khloe Kardashian. The Keeping Up With The Kardashians star, her sister Kim Kardashian, mother Kris Jenner, and Odom’s former Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant were among supporters who gathered at Sunrise Hospital after Odom was admitted Tuesday afternoon.
After making his vigil by Odom’s bedside, Jackson spoke with The Daily Beast to clarify earlier comments in which he seemed optimistic about Odom’s recovery despite drastically conflicting reports.
“He’s not communicating in the verbal sense,” he said of Odom, who has not regained consciousness since he was discovered face down in the Love Ranch South brothel on Tuesday afternoon. Brothel owner Dennis Hof, who owns several legal houses of prostitution in Nevada and starred in HBO’s docuseries Cathouse, told media outlets that Odom had been partying at the Crystal, Nevada establishment since Saturday and had been seen drinking cognac and ingesting high doses of an herbal Viagra supplement.
Jackson added that the athlete’s condition was better Wednesday than when he was first admitted. “Apparently when he first got there he was totally non responsive. He’s responsive to a minor degree now… but he’s fighting for his life.”
“There was the feeling hoping he’ll pull through,” Jackson said. “I asked people to pray for him because he needs it now, and he deserves it. I hope (he’ll pull through). It’s a very difficult situation right now. All we can do is hope and pray. He’s such a source of inspiration to so many people.”