Mayor Art Ward is getting better.
Bristol Hospital reported late Friday that is condition has been upgraded from serious to fair and that he is “awake, alert, breathing on his own, and interacting with family and staff.”
“He’s conscious and he’s talking,” said the head of the city’s Democratic Party, Elliott Nelson.
Nelson, a friend of the mayor, said that Ward’s family is “very optimistic” about his recovery.
“Hopefully, things will start moving a little faster” as Ward continues to improve, Nelson said.
Ward went through a rocky period during his first 10 days in intensive care at Bristol Hospital after choking on a piece of steak.
He was put into a medically induced coma to cool his body and give his organs and brain a chance to heal from the trauma of the Dec. 4 incident, officials said, and then was heavily sedated for a time because of the pain.
A number of officials said on background they were told that Ward suffered some broken ribs as caregivers tried to dislodge the meat from his throat. Given the force that is sometimes required, they said, this is apparently a common outcome.
Ward has been in the hospital since collapsing at the Italian Social Club during a tailgate party shortly before a broadcast of the last University of Connecticut football game.
When or even if Ward can return to his official duties remains uncertain, but those around him are said to be “very happy” at the progress they’re seeing.
The hospital said the mayor remains in the intensive care unit but his vital signs are stable.
Its release on Friday also said that Ward’s family has asked that visitors continue to be restricted to family members for the time being.
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