MONTREAL – Sen. Jacques Demers is getting better every day and is now eating after his stroke nine days ago, doctors said Friday.
Demers, 71, still has some weakness on the right side and difficulty with speech but is alert, said Dr. Angela Genge of the Montreal Neurological Institute.
Jacques Demers responding well to therapy and in stable condition after stroke
Former Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Demers in stable condition
Quebec senator and former NHL coach Jacques Demers suffers stroke
READ MORE: Jacques Demers responding well to therapy and in stable condition after stroke
“He smiles and says hello and puts out his hand and greets you,” Genge told a news conference.
“He’s perfectly aware of who you are.”
“Every day he is brighter and looking better, is interacting quite well, is very aware of his situation and, as of [Thursday], has begun to eat.”
Demers, who coached the Montreal Canadiens to their 1993 Stanley Cup victory, was rushed to hospital on April 6.
READ MORE: Former Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Demers in stable condition
Doctors hope to move him to a rehabilitation centre early next week, where he will begin intense therapy to regain his speech and movement.
He has already begun some therapy.
The intensive rehab process will take three months but his recovery will continue for months beyond that period.
READ MORE: Quebec senator and former NHL coach Jacques Demers suffers stroke
“The sooner aggressive rehabilitation is started, the better people do,” Genge said.
“So we’ve started daily speech therapy, we’re getting him to rehab.”
Genge described Demers as a motivated patient and said she expects the rehab to go well, while adding it is impossible to say if the senator will make a full recovery.