Man who was attacked by cougar to go home

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO – After battling a mountain lion, enduring multiple surgeries and spending weeks in the hospital, a 70-year-old hiker has recovered and is ready to go home, his surgeon said Tuesday. Jim Hamm has “made a steady improvement” in the more than two weeks since a female mountain lion attacked him while he was hiking with his wife at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in Humboldt County, said Dr. Rudy Buntic of California Pacific Medical Center. Hamm has been walking the halls at the San Francisco hospital and reading cards from well-wishers across the country, said his wife, Nell, 65, who smashed the cat in the snout with a large branch and stabbed it with a pen to fend off the attack. “This would be a story of Greek mythology,” Buntic said. “These two people fought off a lion.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The couple will leave the hospital today, a hospital spokeswoman said. Hamm was airlifted to the San Francisco hospital Jan. 28 after he showed signs of a dangerous blood infection at a facility in Arcata, where he first underwent surgery. A team of surgeons led by Buntic moved muscle tissue taken from Hamm’s leg to the back of his head, where he had suffered the most severe bites and scratches, then grafted skin on top. Game wardens closed the park and shot and killed a pair of lions. Researchers identified one of them as the animal that attacked Hamm. Hamm will attend physical therapy sessions for his arms and hands, which are still stiff and swollen, Buntic said. last_img read more