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Hiker may be released from S.F. hospital by week's end

Doctors at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco may release the victim of a recent mountain lion attack by the end of the week.

Jimm Hamm is eating, moving around his hospital room and showing other good recovery signs after a surgery last week to repair his scalp, said hospital spokesman Kevin McCormack. The six-hour microvascular surgery took muscle from Hamm's back and skin from his thigh to cover his exposed skull.

Penicillin has controlled an infection that developed in Hamm's bloodstream from bacteria in the mountain lion's mouth and claws. Hamm has needed less medication to control pain and doctors have removed the stitches that repaired his lips, McCormack said.

The mountain lion attacked and mauled Hamm, a 70-year-old Fortuna resident, as he walked with his wife along Brown Creek Trail in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park on Jan. 24.

Hamm suffered bites and gashes to his head, face, torso and arms. Nell Hamm, 65, fought the lion with a tree branch until it eventually released her husband.

Jim Hamm was taken to Mad River Community Hospital in Arcata and flown to the larger San Francisco facility after showing signs of the infection.

¬Ė Triplicate staff


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