‘My Three Sons’ actress Dawn Lyn makes recovery after brain surgery and coma – doctors give crucial update

Hearing about our favorite actors and actresses from back in the day can always be heartbreaking, especially when you learn they are not doing too well. Dawn Lyn, who made a name for herself in the 60s, most notably for the sitcom My Three Sons, had taken a turn for the worse…

Keep reading to know more about what happened…

The former child star from the 60s, Dawn Lyn has really had a tough time recently. The My Three Sons actress, who is teen idol Leif Garrett’s sister, fell into a coma after she underwent surgery for a brain tumor in October 2022. Her co-star Stanley Livingston said in an interview that she is recovering and hopefully will be on her feet by next year.

“I had a brief conversation with her,” said the 72-year-old. “She struggled to speak, but she was communicating verbally. I hope to visit her in the next couple of weeks.”

Livingston played the role of Chip Douglas in the series. He spoke to the media and said he was speaking on behalf of Lyn’s husband, John Reese, as well.

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He said, “Needless to say, it’s been stressful for her husband,” said Livingston. “And it was pretty scary… You can have insurance, you can have great insurance, but for people who have extended stays… your insurance will have a certain cap. And when the money runs out, then what?”

Reese has previously raised concerns about his wife in the media. He told TMZ that Lyn had developed bacterial meningitis when she was released from the hospital, and then she was moved to another facility where she received physical therapy daily. He was also transparent about the cost of all of this hospitalization. He said the insurance covered the initial surgery and has covered about $2 million so far, but they have had to shoulder all the other costs. He set up a GoFundMe campaign in June this year to help with the mounting medical bills.

“For a while, she wasn’t speaking at all,” the actor shared. “And then about three months later when I called, she would try and answer some questions, which I felt was a big improvement. She’s slowly coming back. And when I spoke to her husband, he said she’s been able to utter some words. He can understand her and she’s feeding herself… It gives doctors hope.” It is nice to know that her doctors are also hopeful about her recovery and have provided the family with this crucial update.


“We’re hoping that with the physical therapy sessions, they’ll have her back on her feet by December,” the actor said. “It’s just a lot for everybody. And we’re talking about someone who’s 59, 60 years old. You never expect something like this to happen to you.”

He also shared how the surviving cast members were rallying about Lyn and making sure she was taken care of. Livingstone added, “She was my little sister [on the show] so we’re very protective of her,” said Livingston. “She was always super nice to us and always running around, taking care of us… She calls me her big brother and I call her my little sis – I’ve done that for the past 50 years. We all care about her.”

He even recalled the last time he met her before her health battle began. It was just two weeks before Lyn’s battle with her health started and the two of them shared a “fabulous lunch” where they talked about the old days.

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Livingston said, “She didn’t complain of any health issues or maladies,” he recalled. “Sure, when you’re 50+, things can just come out of left field… But from the outside, she looked great… When I later heard the news, I was shocked. At first, I didn’t believe it because I didn’t hear from her husband. He must have had his hands full. And you can’t always believe what you see on social media. But when I called him, he confirmed it was true.”

Lyn played Dodie Douglas on the show from 1969 to 1972. She then went on to embark on a successful acting career. She played roles in shows like “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” “Barnaby Jones,” and “Wonder Woman.” Before her diagnosis, she was set to act in a show that was slated to begin production in 2024 and according to Livingston very excited about it.

“Dawn is remembered as a TV star from ‘My Three Sons,’ but most of us are living fairly normal lives,” Livingston said. “She and her husband have pretty good jobs, and they’ve had a wonderful life together, but nobody expects to find themselves in a hospital for months. So how do people cope with that?”


“I think that’s one thing many people don’t understand about being in showbiz,” Livingston added. “They think once you attain a certain amount of stardom, the fame and money remain for the rest of your life. That is usually the exception, not the rule.”

Her husband Reese wrote in the explanation for the GoFundMe that the “medical expenses are wearing down a lifetime of savings.” He also noted that cards from her fans “have made her smile” and in the most recent update in late August, he said he had been advocating for his wife and making sure she was able to remain at the rehab facility where she was getting daily therapy to help her recover.

“I think the outpouring of love, cards and flowers means so much to her,” said Livingston. “She may not be able to respond or answer back to people, but her husband keeps her completely informed. He brings her all this stuff to her. When people think you don’t care, that can really affect their recovery. But seeing all the outpouring of love and seeing all the people that want to help goes a long way.”

Livingston said his former co-star is not “out of the woods yet,” Livingston described his friend as “a fighter.”


“The fact that she can speak is a big step,” he said. “And it gives doctors hope that this individual being treated can recover. And if you keep on fighting, as she has been doing, there can be better days ahead.”

“This can happen to anyone,” he cautioned. “One day you can feel totally fine, and the next day, your health takes an unexpected turn, no matter how much you try to prepare for anything. And as you get older, things just happen. You could be healthy your whole life and then something happens.”

“I’m not very religious, but I think when many people who care about you are rooting for you, maybe somehow something could be done from above,” he reflected. “That’s what we’re praying for,” he ended.

If you enjoyed this, you might like the piece below about Dawn Lyn’s life.


We are sending Dawn Lyn our best wishes. We hope she makes a swift and complete recovery in no time at all. Share this with other fans so they can send her their well wishes too!