The condition of Eitan Beth-Halachmy, the cowboy dressage rider who became ill during the opening ceremony of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, has been upgraded from serious to good, and family members said they hope he will be discharged from the hospital this week.
Officials at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital said his condition was upgraded Wednesday.
Hundreds of people have left messages at the CaringBridge Web site, where Bonnie Glasgow, a family spokeswoman, is blogging about his progress. There have been more than 12,000 visits to his site since it went up Sept. 26.
The renowned horseman, 70, who is known as Eight, probably will stay in Lexington for about a week after leaving the hospital before flying to Colorado to continue rehabilitation with a friend who is a doctor, Glasgow said in the blog. From there, he eventually will return to his ranch in California.
Beth-Halachmy, who was scheduled to perform at the Games' Equine Village every day, became ill as he was leaving Rolex Stadium after performing in the opening ceremony. His heart apparently stopped, but emergency personnel were at hand and performed CPR.
Beth-Halachmy fell from his horse and suffered several broken ribs and other injuries from the fall and subsequent administration of CPR.
After being put into a medically induced coma, he is now conscious and has had surgery to implant a pacemaker and defibrillator, according to the blog posts.
In the most recent blog post, Glasgow reported that although Beth-Halachmy remains in the intensive care unit, he is talking and regaining his appetite. She also said he "wishes to express his sincere thanks to everyone who has signed his guestbook and is looking forward to reading the entries."
She said WEG officials are planning to visit Beth-Halachmy in the hospital to create a taped message to play during the Games' closing ceremony.
She also said in the blog that friends are coming from California to drive his horse, Sante Fe, home to the family ranch.