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Samsung Chairman Lee regains consciousness

The Korea Herald/Asia News Network--Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee, being treated in the hospital after a heart attack over the past two weeks, has regained consciousness, the company said Sunday.

Lee, 72, was operated on at Samsung Medical Center in southern Seoul on May 11 after a heart attack.

He was transferred to a VIP hospital room on May 19 from an intensive care unit at the hospital, according to the hospital.

“Lee was transferred to the ordinary ward and has recovered from an unconscious state. His response to diverse stimulus is showing signs of improvement,” the medical team treating the chairman was quoted as saying by the company, adding that Lee was recovering smoothly.

It said that the prognosis for his cognitive functions is “hopeful” considering the extent of his neurological recovery, adding that his heart, lungs and other organs remain in “perfectly” normal shape.

Lee reportedly opened his eyes while some of his family members were watching a baseball game and making noise after Lee Seung-yeop, a slugger for the Samsung Lions, hit a home run.

He earlier received around 60 hours of hypothermia treatment, a procedure that helps to prevent toxic material from forming in blood vessels by slowing cellular metabolism. He had remained in deep sleep, although his body temperature recovered to normal levels, according to the hospital.

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