- The Washington Times - Monday, January 9, 2006

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — The lone survivor of a coal mine explosion remained hospitalized yesterday in critical condition and had yet to wake up after several days of heavy sedation.

Randal McCloy Jr., 26, had been in a medically induced coma to allow his brain time to heal. Hospital officials said yesterday that his sedation had been stopped, but that it would take awhile for the medication to clear his system.

“It has been very difficult to allow him to awaken, although that is our hope today,” said Dr. Larry Roberts, the head of Mr. McCloy’s treatment team at West Virginia University’s Ruby Memorial Hospital. Once Mr. McCloy is conscious, doctors can begin neurological testing to determine the extent of the damage he suffered in the mine.

Dr. Roberts said Mr. McCloy has shown some signs of improvement since he returned Saturday to West Virginia from Pittsburgh’s Allegheny General Hospital.

Mr. McCloy’s heart and liver were functioning well, but his kidneys have not recovered and he will continue to receive dialysis treatment daily, the doctor said.

The miner’s left lung, injured after he inhaled dust and toxic gasses, appears to have stabilized, but he remains on a ventilator, Dr. Roberts said.

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