Bedridden Samsung head shows no signs of recovery

SEOUL-- Lee Kun-hee, chairman of Samsung Electronics, has shown no signs of recovery since being hospitalized in May 2014 after suffering a heart attack, industry sources said Monday.

Samsung officials and medical experts said that Lee's condition has neither significantly improved nor deteriorated.

"I have not heard of Lee's condition for a long time. If there is no news, I believe his condition remains the same," a high-ranking Samsung executive said.

While Samsung has been refraining from opening Lee's condition to the public citing privacy issues, local media published an exclusive photo of the Samsung Group head lying in bed without a respiration support system in June 2015.

Experts said while Lee could develop complications, he is likely to receive thorough treatment from the hospital.

"Long-term hospitalization can lead to bedsores, decrease in muscle and bone density, and other complications such as pneumonia," a medical expert at a Seoul-based university said. "But as Lee is the top VIP, the hospital is likely to make efforts to prevent such complications."

After suffering a heart attack on May 10, 2014, he was rushed to Samsung Medical Center, hospital owned by his business group, where he got a stent placement. He has remained there after being moved to an exclusive area of the hospital a week later.

Since Lee's hospitalization, South Korea's top family-controlled conglomerate has gone through major changes.

Samsung sold its chemical and defense arms to Hanwha Group and Lotte Group. It also acquired U.S.-based Harman International Industries.

His heir apparent Lee Jae-yong was arrested and indicted in February on charges of giving or promising bribes to impeached President Park Geun-hye's close friend Choi Soon-sil as kickbacks in return for helping him secure group control through a merger of two key units.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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