Lamar Odom is officially 36 years old and his family and those close to him could not be happier to have him around for another year. The former NBA star's life hung in the balance just over three weeks ago after he was found unconscious inside a legal Nevada brothel. Odom awoke on Oct. 16 and is celebrating his birthday Friday.
According to Us Weekly, his aunt JaNean Mercer released a statement in honor of the birthday that almost wasn't. She thanked fans near and far who sent their love and support to Odom and his family and friends as he lay in the hospital recovering. Mercer noted that while "every birthday with Lamar is special," this one in particular was especially important. She thanked God for allowing her nephew to live long enough to see another birthday before asking for continued prayers for Odom, as he is not quite out of the woods yet.
"Happy Birthday, Lamar! We want to THANK everyone from around the world for your continued prayers and well wishes for Lamar and our family," she said. "Every birthday with Lamar is special, but today is an especially momentous occasion and we honor GOD for this day and thank HIM for allowing us to spend this time together."
Meanwhile, Odom's estranged wife, Khloé Kardashian, has reportedly been hard at work planning a party for his special day. People magazine reports the birthday bash will take place at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he is currently being treated. It will be an intimate gathering, according to a source, with just a few close friends and family members in attendance. The publication reports that Khloé, 30, reached out to Odom's former NBA teammates and some of his closest friends about the get-together. L.A. Lakers player Kobe Bryant will not be at the party but is believed to be sending a present. According to Us, the party will be small, but Khloé went out of her way to make sure it will be special.
"It's something very small and very short but will make him feel amazing," a source said. "Then Khloé will be with him for the rest of the day."
Khloé has been by Odom's side for a majority of his hospitalization. During his stay at Sunrise Hospital in Nevada, she was at her estranged husband's bedside constantly. Since his transfer to Cedars-Sinai she has been less present, though she visits frequently. Because she and Odom are still legally married, Khloé has been in charge of making important medical decisions for him. She has also reportedly been tasked with making the visitation list -- and she may have forgotten one important person in Odom's life. On Oct. 29, Joe Odom, the NBA star's father, claimed he had been turned away from the facility numerous times because Khloé left him off the list of approved visitors. He was irate, claiming he was told the problem would be taken care of and it was not.
It is unknown when Odom will be free to leave the hospital. He was hospitalized on Oct. 12 after suffering a stroke at Love Ranch South in Pahrump, Nevada. It is believed that his condition was linked to the use of both herbal Viagra and cocaine. Nye County Sheriff's found traces of the illegal substance in his blood, drawn upon his arrival at Sunrise Hospital. It has been reported that doctors are no longer looking to get him on the transplant list for new kidneys, but those reports have yet to be confirmed.