JOAN Rivers' doctors fear she may end up "as a vegetable" or "needing a wheelchair" after she suffered a cardiac arrest last week.
The 81-year-old comedienne's relatives are reportedly preparing themselves for the worst as professionals at Mount Sinai hospital in New York attempt to bring the blonde beauty out of a medically-induced coma.
A source said: "The waking-up process has begun and will take until Tuesday.
"There is real concern that the part of the brain that controls motor skills may have been compromised, leaving her as either a vegetable or in a wheelchair."
Joan was rushed to hospital four days ago and placed in a coma after she stopped breathing during a routine operation on her vocal cords at the private Yorkville Endoscopy clinic last Thursday morning.
Joan's family is now allegedly considering legal action against the New York clinic as they believe the "botched" procedure is the reason the 'Fashion Police' host is now fighting for her life.
The insider explained to the New York Daily News newspaper: "Shock and upset is turning to anger, and they are looking for someone to blame.
"The night before, she was performing and now she is on life support. An 81 year old should not have that procedure as an outpatient. Very ill-advised."
Meanwhile, Joan's daughter Melissa, 46 - her only child - has been updating fans on her mother's condition over the weekend and has asked every one to pray that the comedienne makes a full recovery.