BIGBANG's T.O.P is ‘barely conscious’: South Korean medical team

Elizabeth Tong
Entertainment Reporter
PARIS, FRANCE – JANUARY 23: T.O.P attends the Dior Menswear Fall/Winter 2016/2017 fashion show at Tennis Club de Paris on January 23, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)

[UPDATE on Thursday 8 June 2017 at 11:18am: Added a statement issued by YG Entertainment following a press conference addressing health concerns of BIGBANG’s T.O.P]

Popular South Korean rapper T.O.P was assessed to be “barely conscious” on Wednesday (7 June) after he was rushed unconscious to the intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital a day earlier over a suspected drug overdose.

The 29-year-old member of K-pop group BIGBANG had overdosed on a drug used to treat anxieties, or benzodiazepines, and not sleeping pills, the medical team that attended to the singer said at a press conference in Seoul.

“This morning, the levels of carbon dioxide in his system have improved. But he is still not awake [and is] not in the state to have normal face-to-face conversation. When he recovers, we plan to have him receive psychiatric treatment,” said the team in Korean at the conference held in Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital.

The team comprises primary care physician Dr. Lee Duk-hee, neurologist Dr. Kim Young-jae, mental health specialist Dr. Choi Hee-yeon and the hospital’s head of public relations, Dr. Kim Han-soo.

Yonhap News Agency reported on Tuesday that the singer had overdosed on tranquilisers, citing BIGBANG’s record label, YG Entertainment.

News of his hospitalisation came after T.O.P, whose real name is Choi Seung-hyun, was expelled by the military on Monday (5 June) – just over three months after he enlisted – for using marijuana in October 2016.

T.O.P didn’t respond to powerful stimulus when he arrived in hospital but on Wednesday afternoon, he responded to stimulus by opening his eyes, Dr Kim Young-jae said.

When asked about the singer’s road to recovery, Dr Lee said, “Depending on the patient’s age, it’s difficult to say when he will regain consciousness. But because he is still quite young, and based on our experience and observations, we expect him to recover in a week.”

T.O.P’s agency YG Entertainment had reportedly issued a statement later on the same day to apologise to “disappointed” fans who are “hurt by the shameful actions of” their artiste.

According to The Korea Herald, the statement read, “YG will accept full responsibility for everything that has happened. We fell short of everyone’s expectations and will accept all criticisms with a heavy heart. We will also do our best to make sure that such events will not happen again. Once again, we would like to apologise to everyone.”

YG Entertainment ended the statement by wishing T.O.P a speedy recovery.

T.O.P, who made his debut with BIGBANG in August 2006, has also acted in South Korean movies such as “Tazza: The Hidden Card” and television dramas.

His last performance with BIGBANG before his enlistment was at the group’s concert in Hong Kong in January.


Related stories:

BIGBANG’s T.O.P expelled from army after drug indictment, has to re-enlist
Look back at the events preceding BIGBANG’s T.O.P’s army enlistment
BIGBANG’s T.O.P found unconscious from overdose, moved to ICU: reports

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