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The NAMM Show 2020

Source: Daniel Knighton / Getty

Comedian and actor Sinbad has been out of the public eye since 2020 when he suffered a stroke. This week, his family announced that while he is recovering, he needs some help and support.

David “Sinbad” Atkins is a beloved entertainer who left the military to pursue an ultimately successful career in standup. He moved on to acting, starring as Coach Walter Oaks on the seminal NBC sitcom, A Different World. He also hosted his eponymous talk show in the 90s and starred in films including Necessary Roughness, Good Burger, Jingle All the Way, and First Kid.

Sinbad and his wife Meredith Fuller married in 1985, separated in 1992, then remarried in 2002. The couple has three children and a grandson, Jalen, who was born in 2020, per social media posts.

On a website, called The Journey Forward, created to provide updates on his condition, Sinbad’s family says that he suffered his first stroke in October 2020 when a blood clot traveled from his heart to his brain. He underwent a thrombectomy and they say at first, the prognosis was promising.

But a second stroke the next day meant he had to have a second thrombectomy which left him weakened. From there, his condition rapidly deteriorated leading to a craniotomy and a brain bleed. Sinbad was ultimately placed into a coma and spent months on a ventilator in the ICU.

His family says they were “devastated.”

“It would be weeks before he would open his eyes, speak or show signs of basic mobility. It wasn’t long before we realized he couldn’t move his left side or simply hold his head up. The more time passed, the more the family learned how much had been lost,” their post continued.

From there, Sinbad showed the fortitude and resilience that helped him change his career path and become a star in a competitive industry. He was able to start physical, occupational, and speech therapy in May of 2021.

In July of that year, he was finally released from the hospital and his family says he is continuing to make exceptional progress as one of the 30% of the population who survives similar medical events.

“Thank God for everything He’s given you, even if it’s not everything you asked for,” Sinbad himself shared, through his family. “Thank God for family and hug the ones you love while you’re still with them. We need each other to get through this journey. I can’t wait to see you all again soon. As always, stay funky, stay prayed up.”

But the medical expenses have taken their toll and the family is asking for assistance as Sinbad recovers. On the update page, there are donation links for those who can help.

“The family believes, without exception, Sinbad is here because of the multitude of prayers from all who know and love him. We are eternally grateful. Every outpouring of love and the memories of how he has touched all of you have not gone unheard, unseen or unfelt. Thank you. You have lifted his spirits along the way and inspired the entire family.”