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THE MIGHTY SPARROW is currently hospitalized in Queen’s, New York, where he remains in a coma, having been admitted there last week. His family issued a statement yesterday confirming this and asking that his fans pray for him while respecting the family’s privacy. They have since refused to give any additional information to the media here or in New York, although a member of Sparrow’s family said on an Internet radio station that, “on a scale of one to ten he is at four”. The statement from Sparrow’s family read: “The family of Slinger Francisco, the Mighty Sparrow, is sad to announce that the Calypso King Of The World is in a New York hospital in a coma. The family is asking fans and the people of Trinidad and Tobago to pray for him and to respect their privacy. An update on his progress will be announced.” It was signed by his wife Margaret Francisco. Sparrow has been having health challenges for the past three years, including having to undergo surgery in 2010 to treat an incarcerated right inguinal hernia that had caused him to cut short performances here and in the United States because of excruciating pain while onstage. He has been hospitalized for complications caused by diabetes more than once since. “The Birdie”, as he is also popularly known, has continued to perform, sometimes needing to sing while seated, but always delivering pleasing performances. One of his most recent performances was on August 5 at the MLK Summer Concert Series, hosted by Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz at Wingate Park in Brooklyn. In July, Sparrow was in Trinidad, where he performed at the Mas Camp Pub, Woodbrook, alongside Black Stalin. Sparrow sang for over an hour, delivering an energetic performance that reminded patrons of the entertainer they have loved for decades.