A man poisoned by a cocaine-laced malt drink began breathing spontaneously today, hours before he was scheduled to be disconnected from life-support systems, hospital officials said.
It was the first time that Maximo Rene Menendez, 25, who has been in a coma since drinking a contaminated bottle of Pony Malta de Bavaria on July 26, had breathed on his own in the last seven days.
Menendez, who was declared brain-dead Monday, was scheduled to be removed from life support today at the request of his mother.
"He cannot maintain breathing for a long time on his own, but . . . we can't disconnect someone like that," said Dr. Armando Bienes, a neurologist at AMI Kendall Regional Medical Center.