Physicist/mathematician Stephen Hawking has improved after spending the night at a hospital near his home in Cambridge, England, and the 67-year-old’s condition was described as “comfortable.” Hawking’s first wife, Jane, was quoted that she believed his illness was no longer life-threatening. A spokesperson for Cambridge University, where Prof Hawking holds the post of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, said that he would be kept in hospital for observation. “He is comfortable and his family is looking forward to him making a full recovery,” said Gregory Hayman. “He has had a good night but will be kept in at Addenbrooke’s Hospital for observation. He is showing signs of improvement.”
Hawking, best known as the author of the best-selling science book A Brief History of Time, was taken to hospital two days after returning from a tour of engagements in the United States. Cambridge University took the unprecedented step of commenting on Hawking’s condition, describing him as “very ill”.
Hawking suffers from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), an incurable degenerative disorder also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He is wheelchair bound and only able to speak with the help of a voice synthesiser.
He was diagnosed with the muscle-wasting disease at the age of 21, which has gradually robbed him of his voice and movement in his limbs.
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At the time of being diagnosed with the disease, he was told that he could expect to live for two years but has become one of the oldest-known survivors of the disease, after more than 40 years.