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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Roy Horn Press Conference

Aired October 7, 2003 - 12:08   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Let's immediately go to Las Vegas. The news conference under way on the condition of Roy Horn of Siegfried and Roy.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a brief statement to read, and then we're going to let him go ahead and get back to work. He's not going to be able to take any questions.

And then, I've got a few notes for you, just some housekeeping details. Bernie Human, Siegfried and Roy's manager, will have a couple of things to say, then, I'll have a couple of closing remarks, and we'll take a couple of questions.

So, I'd like to first introduce Dr. Derek Duke, a neurosurgeon. And as I say, he'll have a short statement to read, and then we'll let him get back to work.

DR. DEREK DUKE, NEUROSURGEON: Thank you.

Mr. Horn's injury was extremely severe, and it is all but miraculously that he's alive at this time. A contributing factor to his current condition is his extraordinary will and strong physical attributes. These are significant elements in his ability to recover. Mr. Horn is currently communicating with us and is responding nicely.

I would like to address a few erroneous bits of information about his status that has been circulating. He is not now, nor has he ever been, in a drug-induced coma. While we are very pleased with his progress, Mr. Horn remains in critical condition, and it will be quite some time before we know the full extent of his recovery. Every day that passes increases his chances for survival and recovery. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, doctor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, doctor.

ALAN FELDMAN, MGM MIRAGE: I know a lot of you have been out to the Mirage, where a tribute to Roy has established itself. There are quite a few hundred, and maybe even by this point thousands, of flowers, plants, notes -- things of that nature. The hotel has been receiving quite a few phone calls from the public asking where to send things. If you'd like to send something to be put out at the tribute, just go ahead and send it to the Mirage Hotel, and our staff will take care of getting it placed out there. All of the notes are being collected, as are all e-mails being collected, and passed on to Siegfried and to Bernie, and eventually to Roy. For those of you who want to send an e-mail, apparently we've just completely overwhelmed the Siegfried and Roy site, but it is www.sarmoti.com. Or you can go to the Mirage Web site, www.mirage.com, go down to the "contact us" section and you can send the message through there. As I say, we are collecting every single one of those and passing those on.

Obviously, those of you who have been here now for a few days, you've seen quite a few of the guests and visitors and friends who have stopped by, many others have either sent notes or have been calling. And several of you have asked who some of those folks are. They include, and I'm going to read what seems like a long list, but in truth the list is hundreds and hundreds of names long. But just to give you some sense of who's been calling or visiting.

BLITZER: All right, well, we're going to break away from this news conference in Las Vegas involving Roy Horn, who was very seriously injured in that mauling attack over the weekend -- Roy Horn, part of the team of Siegfried and Roy.

We got an analysis from the doctor on -- immediately working on this case, Dr. Derek Duke.

Let's bring in our own doctor, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He's joining us now from the CNN Center in Atlanta.

He remains in critical condition, but the doctor suggesting it's almost miraculous how he's recovering.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, a couple of interesting things to point out. Certainly, obviously, a bite to a neck meaning a very high priced real estate sort of bite. I'm going to have a little model here I want to show you quickly, Wolf, as well.

If someone takes a bite to the neck, there are all sorts of different things to be concerned about. There is a carotid artery here. There is a large vein as well. There is the air pipe. There is the esophagus behind that. There are all sorts of different things there that could have been potentially been damaged.

Most likely what people get really concerned about during an injury like this is, could the blood vessel that actually supplies blood to the brain have been affected? If that is affected, that certainly does cause stroke-like symptoms.

Dr. Duke taking pains to tell us that he is not in a drug-induced coma. That's an important point and is a little bit more of a favorable sign in terms of his overall neurological recovery. He is moving hands and feet and able to communicate a little bit as well. That's also a good sign.

You know, it's very hard to say, certainly in the first several days after an injury like this, what the eventual outcome is going to be. But the fact that he is communicating a bit from a neurological standpoint is a fairly good sign -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks very much. We're all praying, of course, for Roy Horn.

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