Khloé Kardashian Throws Exclusive 36th Birthday Party for Lamar Odom – in the Hospital
Though he remains hospitalized, Lamar Odom will spend his birthday with those closest to him.
Odom is celebrating his 36th birthday Friday with a small birthday party at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a source close to the former NBA star tells PEOPLE. The get-together was orchestrated by Khloé Kardashian, who is now at the hospital with sister Kim Kardashian West and mom Kris Jenner, who has her own 60th birthday bash planned for Friday night.
Kardashian, 31, reached out to Odom’s former teammates as well as two of his best friends that are not NBA players, the source says. Though the Los Angeles Lakers are on a road trip, Kobe Bryant will send a gift and connect with his former teammate via FaceTime, and Lakers player Ron Artest will also try to phone in via video chat. A few Los Angeles Clippers players will try to come by the hospital after their practice, and Kardashian arranged for Odom’s NBA trainer of 15 years to come as well.
The party is taking place not in Odom’s hospital room but in a separate private room. Kardashian arranged for a cake, balloons and party hats.
“It’s something very small and very short but will make him feel amazing,” the source says. “Then Khloé will be with him for the rest of the day.”
The source adds that only a select amount of people can attend, and Kardashian had the get-together approved by his doctors.
“It’s just a very small group of people because Lamar cannot handle too much stimulus, but the doctors are allowing a small group for a short time on his birthday,” the source says.
Odom’s aunt JaNean Mercer also released a statement Friday in honor of his birthday.
“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. Please continue to keep Lamar and our family in prayer as he continues on this miraculous journey.”
Odom was hospitalized over three weeks ago after being found unconscious with drugs in his system at a Nevada brothel Oct. 13.
A source told PEOPLE a week ago the former basketball star’s kidneys, though permanently damaged, are functioning well enough that he is off dialysis and will not need a transplant.
• Reporting by KATE COYNE, ELIZABETH LEONARD and GABRIELLE OLYA