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Nelson Mandela's Health Recovers Dramatically - Smiles and Raises His Hand

( [email protected] ) Jul 17, 2013 07:58 AM EDT
Nelson Mandela has made a “dramatic” progress on the eve of his 95th birthday, says Zindi Mandela, daughter of the former South African president.
A young member of the Maitibolo Cultural Troupe poses in front of a photograph of Nelson Mandela outside the Medi Clinic Heart Hospital, where the anti-apartheid icon is admitted. AFP

Nelson Mandela has made a “dramatic” progress on the eve of his 95th birthday, says Zindi Mandela, daughter of the former South African president.

She said in an interview with Sky TV that her father is watching television with headphones in his Pretoria hospital bed and that he smiles at family members and raises his hand.

Mandela, who overcame 27 years in jail to become South Africa’s first black president and bring an end to decades of whites-only rule, may be discharged from hospital in time to spend his 95th birthday this Thursday at home.

In early June, Mandela, who served humanity in 67 years of service, was hospitalized from recurring lung infections he first developed during the 27 years he spent in prison during the country’s apartheid era.

Just little less than a month ago, his family claimed in court document dated June 26 that Mandela is in a “vegetative state,” which the presidency has denied. The last official update last week said he was critical but stable and was responding to treatment, confirmed by comments from family and friends.