It is being reported by ESPN that the condition of boxing legend Muhammad Ali has “vastly improved” since he was taken to the hospital with a mild case of pneumonia, his spokesman has said. Bob Gunnell said Ali’s doctors hoped to discharge him soon.
Gunnell added that, “the Ali family continues to request privacy and appreciates all of the prayers and well wishes”. The 72-year-old former three-time heavyweight champion, who has Parkinson’s disease, was taken to the hospital on Saturday.
Mr. Gunnell provided no further details.
Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1984, three years after his retirement from boxing. Elderly people or those with a chronic illness like Parkinson’s disease are high risk for developing pneumonia, an inflammation or swelling of the lungs that makes it difficult for oxygen to reach the blood.
A pneumonia vaccine is available and is recommended for:
- People over age 65
- People with HIV or AIDS
- People with Parkinson’s diease, heart disease, diabetes, lung disease or other chronic illness
- Anyone with a weakened immune system, particularly from cancer or a kidney disease
Ali recently appeared in public at a ceremony in September in his hometown of Louisville for the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards.