Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is reportedly regaining consciousness after early claims on Wednesday morning that he had slipped into a coma, or perhaps even died.
Officials have remained quiet about Mubarak's health, fueling rumors that he was declared clinically dead by military doctors, and his sons Alaa and Gamal, who are currently serving prison terms, were barred from seeing their father, according to Ahram.
Al Arabiya is now reporting that the 84-year-old Mubarak suffered a stroke in the Tora Prison and was taken to the Maadi Military Hospital, where he was put on life support.
The next 72 hours will be critical but he could survive, a source in Cairo told the Saudi daily. However, he may not regain all his intellectual and physical capacities and may have impaired concentration and vision due to a stroke.
Mubarak is currently serving a life sentence for ordering the death of protestors during last year's revolution. His health deteriorated after he was removed from power in February 2011, and some officials have been pushing to get him moved to Maadi for weeks. Mubarak's lawyer, Fareed El Deeb, told CNN that Mubarak would be in better health now if the military had moved him sooner.
He has had water on the lungs for 10 days now and his blood pressure is down today, which obstructed his breathing and forced doctors to put him on a respirator, El Deeb said. He was given medicine intravenously to relieve the brain clot, and electric shocks were used to revive him but there was no substantial response. He is not dead as reported.
Mubarak's sudden malady comes just a day before the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces names his successor. Egyptians went to the polls last weekend to vote for the next president, reportedly choosing Muhammad Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, a party that was banned under Mubarak's rule. Mursi slightly edged out Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak's last prime minister.