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Hospitalized author King improving

Best-selling writer underwent surgery Nov. 23
/ Source: The Associated Press

Stephen King remained hospitalized Monday, but his spokesman said the best-selling author’s condition was improving and that he’d been taken off of oxygen in his recovery from a bout with pneumonia. Warren Silver, King’s Bangor attorney, said he expects a “long process in terms of getting him on his feet and back to what he was before this all happened.”

King was hospitalized with pneumonia Nov. 23 and underwent surgery two days later to remove fluid and scar tissue from one of his lungs.

“It’s a slow healing process and he’s in some degree of pain from the thoracotomy,” Silver said. “It’s hard for him to get comfortable.”

The 56-year-old writer was diagnosed with pneumonia before a recent trip to New York City to receive the National Book Foundation’s 2003 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, presented Nov. 19 for lifetime achievement.

His condition worsened when he returned home to Bangor. Doctors at Eastern Maine Medical Center diagnosed him with pleural effusion, an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the membrane surrounding the lung.

Silver has said there appears to be a connection between the pneumonia and a June 1999 accident in which King was struck by a van and nearly killed while walking near his summer home in Lovell. The writer suffered a broken leg and hip, a punctured lung, broken ribs and other injuries.

King, whose books include “Carrie,” “The Shining” and “The Stand,” is expected to make a full recovery and “is coming along,” Silver said.