중앙데일리

Samsung chairman able to sit up in a wheelchair

Oct 01,2014
Lee Kun-hee
Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee, who suffered a heart attack on May 10, has recovered enough to sit in a wheelchair instead of being confined to a bed.

According to sources in the business industry, Chairman Lee has recently been sitting in his wheelchair with some assistance and has been pushed on short walks in his private ward.

Although he hasn’t fully recovered and can’t recognize people or communicate, medical professionals say there is a huge difference between lying in bed all day and being able to sit upright.

Although Samsung Medical Center, where the chairman is staying, avoided revealing details of his condition, doctors acknowledged that Lee’s health has been improving.

“Even though he does not have all of his cognitive abilities yet, the fact that he can raise himself up and sit on a chair or in a wheelchair is a positive signal that can give us substantial expectations,” said one cardiologist who has been following Lee’s condition. “We have to see if his sense and motor nerve recovery move to the next stage of small activities or cognition recovery.”

Although his cardiovascular functions have recovered, Lee’s judgment needs time to improve.

It was also said that his hands and feet are responding to external stimulus.

The chairman has been in the VIP ward on the 20th floor of the medical center in southern Seoul for 140 days since he suffered a heart attack. Rumors circulated months ago that Lee was in critical condition and that he still hadn’t recovered consciousness, so the medical center and Samsung Group began sharing health updates to counter the rumors.

On Aug. 27, the medical center said Chairman Lee’s health had been improving and that although he still could not communicate, he could move his hands when he made eye contact.

Samsung’s communication team head Lee Joon made a similar comment around that time, saying that the medical staff had high expectations that the chairman’s condition was steadily recovering.

“There has been more positive news about the health conditions of Chairman Lee than before,” said a Samsung Electronics official, who requested anonymity. “Even within the company there are growing expectations over the recovery.”



BY LEE SO-AH [ojlee82@joongang.co.kr]




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