Jerry Lawler was talking and laughing Wednesday, according to those close to him. It will be awhile before the Memphis wrestling icon is back at work, but there is optimism in the kingdom.
"He's doing really well," said Lauryn McBride, Lawler's girlfriend, who fielded a call to Lawler's cellphone. Lawler could be heard in the background. "Yesterday, I was a little concerned and I was scared. Today, I have high hopes. He's smiling and laughing."
Said Bruno Lauer, who has worked with Lawler for more than three decades, and who spoke with Lawler by phone: "I feel really good about everything."
Lawler suffered a heart attack Monday night at a WWE "Raw" event in Montreal. There have been all manner of reports since then, including some mentioning potential brain damage.
"I don't know where that came from," said McBride. "His brain is fine. He had a scan and there is no damage. The doctor told us that we're very, very fortunate."
McBride confirmed reports that Lawler had a stent put in, as well as a balloon to open an artery. She said he will not need any further surgery, just medication and a change of diet.
Doctors removed Lawler's breathing tube Wednesday, enabling him to talk for the first time since the heart attack. Before the tube was taken out, Lawler asked for a pen and paper so he could ask some questions.
"He said he thought we were in Aruba," said McBride, laughing. The couple had been in Aruba not long before the heart attack.
"Now he understands the situation," she said. "He knows that everyone is thinking about him."
McBride was watching the event on TV Monday night, when she noticed Lawler's chair was empty.
"I knew something wasn't right, because he wasn't texting me," she said.
McBride isn't predicting when Lawler would be released from the hospital, or when he might be able to resume his wrestling and announcing.
"It's going to take him a little time to get back, but we're feeling good about it," she said.
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