Paul Holmes wakes from coma

Paul Holmes is awake and expected to leave intensive care today. Photo / File
Paul Holmes is awake and expected to leave intensive care today. Photo / File

Veteran broadcaster Paul Holmes is off life support and sitting up in bed following open-heart surgery last week.

A team of surgeons worked for four hours on Wednesday to remove a blockage and carry out remedial work on his heart.

Holmes was placed in an induced coma on Friday to quicken recovery.

In a statement released on behalf of Holmes and his wife Deborah, Newstalk ZB said he was awake and off life-support.

He is expected to leave the intensive care unit today, and is described as in a stable condition.

The 62-year-old was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a usually genetic condition in which the heart muscle thickens and impedes and blocks blood flow. It affects about one in 1000 people.

Before the operation Holmes admitted feeling anxious and "a bit scared" but he and his wife were buoyed by good wishes from family and supporters.

He said he had been feeling breathless and lacking energy for about a month, which he thought was a result of being rundown after finishing writing a book.

When his condition was confirmed by his Hastings cardiologist Richard Luke, Holmes was flown to Auckland on May 30.

He has been positive about his long-term prognosis, including a return to work as a Newstalk ZB and TVNZ host and Weekend Herald columnist, saying he had confidence in the surgeons.

Holmes has survived a road accident, a helicopter crash and cancer.


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