Rushdie family relieved he is off ventilator: Son

Zafar Rushdie says though his father's 'life-changing' injuries are severe, his defiant sense of humour remains intact



UPMC Hamot Surgery Center in Erie, Pennsylvania, where novelist Salman Rushdie is being treated. — AFP
UPMC Hamot Surgery Center in Erie, Pennsylvania, where novelist Salman Rushdie is being treated. — AFP

By AFP

Published: Sun 14 Aug 2022, 8:07 PM

The family of Salman Rushdie is "extremely relieved" he has been taken off a ventilator following his stabbing, and the British author has retained his "defiant sense of humour", his son said on Sunday.

"We are extremely relieved that yesterday he was taken off the ventilator and additional oxygen and was able to say a few words," his son Zafar tweeted.

Rushdie's agent Andrew Wylie said earlier on Sunday that Rushdie was on the "road to recovery", two days after he was stabbed multiple times in a shocking assault at a literary event in New York state.

Zafar said that despite the promising news, his father's injuries were "life-changing" and "severe", and that he remained in a critical condition.

But "his usual feisty and defiant sense of humour remains intact," he added.

Zafar offered thanks to audience members who "bravely leapt to his defence" and for the "outpouring of love and support from around the world".

The agent said earlier that Rushdie might lose an eye; he also suffered injuries to the abdomen.

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The author spent years under police protection after Iranian leaders called for his killing.

He was about to address the event in western New York state when a man rushed onto the stage and stabbed him repeatedly in the neck and abdomen.

The suspected assailant, Hadi Matar, 24, was wrestled to the ground by staff and other audience members before being taken into police custody.

He was arraigned in court on Saturday and pleaded not guilty to attempted murder charges.


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