Melissa Rivers: 'They could have saved my mother.'

Her daughter says she should still be here.

Red carpets have been decidedly less hilarious since the passing of comedy doyenne Joan Rivers at the age of 81 in September last year, and her daughter is saying they needn’t have been.

Melissa Rivers, 47, told Matt Lauer on the U.S. Today show on Monday that her mother’s death was “100 per cent preventable”.

“All she said was, ‘Ugh, I hate having to do this. Getting old sucks,” Melissa recalled her mother said before she was taken in for the minor op.

Melissa filed a suit in January against the Yorkville Endoscopy clinic in New York where Rivers stopped breathing while undergoing a routine throat procedure for medical malpractice.

Joan Rivers with her daughter Melissa and her grandson Cooper. Image via Instagram.

It alleges that while doctors were cracking jokes and taking selfies, Rivers was going into cardiac arrest on the operating table.

Rivers told Lauer she was informed of her mother’s condition as she was flying to meet her after the minor surgery.

She had been put in a medically-induced coma and doctors were lowering her body temperature – the protocol following catastrophic brain injury.

Melissa Rivers speaking about her mother’s death on the Today show.

“In my opinion, it was 100 percent preventable,” she said of Rivers’ death.

“How about paying attention to the vital signs? How about having a properly equipped crash cart? … When it’s error after error, after error, after error, after behaviors that you cannot even begin to get your head around — you get mad.”

Life with Joan: Melissa Rivers has penned a book about growing up with the comedienne. Image via Instagram.

To help her get over the death of her indomitable mother, Melissa Rivers has written a book filled with her memories of growing up with the legendary comedienne.

Read more: REPORT: Joan Rivers’ death could have been prevented.

The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation, “saved” Melissa Rivers, she said.

“It gave me permission to laugh… It allowed me to remember stories and laugh and be joyful.”

Scroll through our gallery of mother-daughter moments between Melissa and Joan Rivers.