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Bob Hope's Physician Holds News Conference

Aired September 4, 2001 - 15:31   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: I want to bring our viewers up-to-date. Moving straight out to Burbank, out by Los Angeles, Bob Hope's physician, personal physician, is talking about the legendary entertainer's condition this afternoon. Let's listen.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

DR. LEE KAGAN, BOB HOPE'S PHYSICIAN: ... and he remains in stable condition. We had announced last Friday that we expected him to be able to go home by the end of the Labor Day weekend. However, after examining him over the weekend, I determined that it would be best to allow Mr. Hope to remain in the hospital for an additional few days so that he would be able to return to full strength as soon as possible.

Mr. Hope, continues to improve, and there have been no new complications regarding his illness. Mr. Hope did speak to me yesterday, and this morning, one of the nurses reported that she overheard Mr. Hope humming a tune to himself. When I asked her what tune it was, she said she did not recognize it, but she was pretty sure it was not a song by Eminem.

At this time, I expect Mr. Hope will be able to go home within the next several days. Again, we want to thank everyone for their many get-well wishes that Mr. Hope has received.

Thank you.

(CROSSTALK)

KAGAN: I'm sorry. What?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) -- can you talk about, just to re-emphasize this, this whole issue that his delayed departure, nothing should be read into it?

KAGAN: No. What happened specifically was that on Sunday there was a slight rise in his temperature even though he otherwise looked fine, and it was our best judgment that it would be safer to keep him in hospital a few more days to make sure that this was no more than just a hiccup in his recovery. In fact, his temperature has remained normal. There has been no fever, and he is better now than he was before the weekend.

QUESTION: You said he's speaking now.

(CROSSTALK)

Is he -- what types of things has he said to you? ,

KAGAN: The other things that he -- we've talked about have been largely, you know, personal, of a medical nature.

QUESTION: Does he (OFF-MIKE) is he able to carry on a conversation? Is he fully conscious, fully aware?

KAGAN: He's getting better.

QUESTION: How would you characterize (OFF-MIKE)?

KAGAN: Characterize him...

QUESTION: His ability to engage in a conversation and be involved?

KAGAN: He's getting closer to the condition he was in before he came into the hospital.

QUESTION: And what was that exactly? (OFF-MIKE)?

KAGAN: He would speak intermittently, but as I say, he is 98 years old.

QUESTION: Would you characterize his -- his mood after you told him that or he became aware that he was not leaving on Monday?

KAGAN: I think he understood that it was important to make sure that he was stronger and well enough to go home and stay home and not have to turn around and come back.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) has Mr. Hope suffered any complications from pneumonia?

KAGAN: There have been no complications.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) still call for him to return to his, as you described, his baseline condition or activity level at some point following his discharge?

KAGAN: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Pardon me, Doctor. In lay terms, tell us what these last little developments have been over the last couple of days that required him to stay here a bit longer?

KAGAN: Again, the -- the only issue over the weekend that delayed his departure was a slight rise in his temperature of less than a degree, but it was technically a slight fever. We weren't sure what it meant and opted to basically watch him. The fever resolved on its own. Nothing else changed. His chest x-ray continues to clear. He's off oxygen. He's taking nourishment. As I say, he is more communicative than he has been this whole week. And I expect in a few days, barring any unforeseen problems, that he'll be going home.

Thank you very much.

QUESTION: Doctor, I wonder if you could tell us about -- for a person who's 98 years old, is there some reason why they wouldn't be able to, if they're healthy otherwise, they wouldn't be able to, you know, talk and be (OFF-MIKE)?

KAGAN: I'm sorry. I didn't...

QUESTION: Is there a reason why a person who's 98 years old, just inherently by being 98, is there some -- some problem with being 98 years old that would prevent a person from being able to communicate verbally on a regular, ongoing basis?

KAGAN: As I said earlier in the week, the other medical conditions he may or may not have are really not relevant to his (UNINTELLIGIBLE) hospitalization.

Thank you.

CHEN: An indication of how significant Bob Hope is in the entertainment world, and of course, in Los Angeles, where everything thing is, after all, about entertainment. A great deal of attention paid to this afternoon's news conference by Dr. Lee Kagan, who is the personal physician of Bob Hope.

Let's bring you up to date. He -- Bob Hope has been in the hospital since late last week. He was suffering some chest pains, admitted, suffering some pneumonia. Originally, the doctors had thought that he would be released by the end of the Labor Day holiday, and Dr. Kagan was up to explain to reporters that they had decided yesterday to go ahead and keep Mr. Hope in the hospital, at least for a couple of more days.

They said -- he said that they had made this decision based on a slight elevation in Bob Hope's temperature over the weekend, but since then, they say he's normal. He is not on oxygen at this point, has no fever, and according to his doctor, remains in stabile condition and is continuing to improve.

Again, the latest update on the legendary entertainer Bob Hope. His doctor pointing out that he is 98 years old. He has not been able to talk to him a great deal, but saying that the nurses there have heard Bob Hope humming to himself and seeming to be pretty comfortable.

Again, they're watching for his -- they're hoping for his best recovery out there. CNN continuing to follow up on that story.

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