“He should be up and about soon but not too soon,” was the assurance from Nicole Robinson, daughter of Slinger “Mighty Sparrow” Francisco when she confirmed on Saturday that her father was no longer in a coma.
Two weeks ago, fans of the entertainer, who is often described as the calypso king of the world, learned that he was in coma in an unidentified New York hospital. In a statement, the family requested prayers and support for the 78 year old, who has been performing for more than four decades and has been having health challenges for the past three years.
These include undergoing surgery in 2010 to treat a right inguinal hernia that had caused him to cut short performances in Trinidad and Tobago and in the United States because of excruciating pain while on stage. He has been hospitalized for complications caused by diabetes more than once, but has continued to perform.
Without disclosing the cause for the comatose, Robinson said that her father was responding very well to treatment. “He is communicating by blinks and lifting his hands,” she said, while pointing out that he is also listening to some of his favourite tunes which includes some of his own gospel tunes, country and western, and classical.
Affectionately called “The Birdie,” he migrated from Grenada to Trinidad and Tobago at the tender age of one year. Last year, he was honoured by family and relatives from the fishing and rural community of Grand Roy, St John’s — the place of his birth.
Robinson said that fans and well-wishers can sent get well and speedy recovery message to the veteran calypsonian who has perform through the Caribbean, USA, UK, Africa and other European countries via an email address.
“Visitors are still not allowed, but fans can sent an email to [email protected],” she said.
by Linda Straker