Casey 'Fully Conscious,' Able to Sit Up in a Chair

United Press International

CIA Director William J. Casey, who had reportedly been in a semi-coma since surgery to remove a brain tumor, is fully conscious and able to sit up in a chair, a spokeswoman at Georgetown University Hospital said today.

The intelligence director "remains in stable condition . . . as he continues to recover from surgery. He is fully conscious and able to sit up in a bedside chair," the hospital said.

CBS Radio reported Wednesday the 73-year-old Casey was "in a semi-coma and is responding to only painful stimuli," but it did not disclose the source of the information or give details about his condition.

Hospital spokeswoman Robin Payes said at the time that CBS "got that from unconfirmed sources" and refused to confirm or deny the report.

Brain Tumor Removed

Casey underwent surgery Dec. 18 for removal of a cancerous brain tumor, three days after suffering two cerebral seizures, one at his CIA office and a second at the hospital.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Casey has failed to recover all normal brain functions since his 5 1/2-hour operation. The newspaper cited White House officials and knowledgeable sources as providing the information, but said the sources did not indicate which brain functions have not returned.

Hospital officials have said they plan to schedule cancer treatment for the CIA chief once he recovers from the brain surgery.

Casey, a central figure in the Iran arms- contra aid scandal, was stricken one day before his scheduled testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee. He had testified twice previously in private congressional sessions.

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