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Samsung chairman stable after 2 years in hospital

After nearly two years since he was first hospitalized, Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee’s health is said to be stable currently.

Even though the company does not reply to media inquiries about the chairman’s health, industry watchers assume that he is in stable condition but shows no sign of improving. 

Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee (Yonhap)
Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee (Yonhap)

“The chairman’s health is his private issue. We do not comment on it,” said a Samsung spokesperson, declining to be named.

The Samsung patriarch collapsed at home on May 10, 2014 after suffering a severe heart attack. He underwent an emergency surgery and since then has been receiving treatment at Samsung Medical Center in Seoul.

Samsung last gave a briefing on his condition in November 2014. At the time, the company said the chairman’s physical functions, including his heart, had stabilized. It also added that he was able to stay awake for 15 to 19 hours a day and was receiving rehabilitation treatment on a wheelchair.

As his health condition seemed to be improving, there was speculation that he would soon be moved to his residence but he has remained hospitalized over the past two years.

In June last year, local media took photos of him lying in a hospital bed and breathing by himself without the help of an artificial ventilator. Choi Gee-sung, his close aide and vice chairman of Samsung Group’s strategic planning, was also spotted visiting him.

Since his hospitalization, his only son, Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong, has served as leader of the nation’s largest conglomerate.  

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)
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