Woman kept hostage in Austrian cellar awakens from coma



The eldest daughter of a woman imprisoned in a cellar by her father for more than 20 years was brought out of a medically induced coma, a hospital official said Tuesday.

Kerstin Fritzl, one of seven children whom authorities say Josef Fritzl has confessed to fathering with his daughter, was taken to a hospital in April, unconscious and suffering from an unidentified infection.

She later suffered seizures. In addition to the induced coma, she was placed on a respirator and underwent dialysis because of the effects of lack of oxygen.

The 19-year-old "has been awakened from the induced coma and was able to leave the intensive care unit several days ago," said a hospital statement e-mailed to The Associated Press.

"The patient continues to need intensive medical ... and therapeutic care," said the statement, e-mailed by hospital spokesman Klaus Schwertner. It gave no timeframe for further treatment and offered no details about the patient's location.

Fritzl is accused of raping his daughter repeatedly while confining her to a basement hideaway for 24 years.

Kerstin's hospitalization led to the unravelling of the elaborate crime when doctors appealed on TV for her mother to come forward because they needed information about the young woman's medical history.

Fritzl then accompanied his daughter, 42-year-old Elisabeth, to the hospital on April 26 and her story came to light shortly after.

On Friday, authorities decided to extend pretrial custody for Fritzl, 73, by another two months. Fritzl was formally placed in custody April 29 and will likely be charged when the investigation is complete.

Three of the children fathered by Fritzl, including Kerstin, were raised in a cellar at his home in Amstetten, west of Vienna.

Three others were brought above ground to live with Fritzl and his wife, and one died in infancy. DNA tests confirmed Fritzl is the biological father of the six surviving children.

Schooling began last month for the children kept in the cellar. Christoph Herbst, a lawyer representing the victims, said the family was "doing well."

What bothers me the most about this case is that one article I read stated he will get more time for if they can nail him on charges for disposing of the baby, than he would for imprisoning all those people and repeatedly raping his own daughter. WTF?

I'm hoping that proves to be not true. We'll see I guess.

Woman who spent life in cellar has two requests


VIENNA, Austria -- A woman born and raised in the cellar where her mother allegedly was kept captive as a sex slave for 24 years has emerged from coma with two requests: to go on a boat ride and to see pop singer Robbie Williams in concert, doctors and a lawyer said Wednesday.
Kerstin Fritzl met with family members Sunday, shortly after doctors woke her from the induced coma she had been in for weeks, according to two doctors and Christoph Herbst, a family lawyer.
She had been admitted to a hospital April 19 unconscious, with a life-threatening condition and suffering from multiple organ failure -- a case that brought to light the family's underground existence in the town of Amstetten, west of Vienna.
Josef Fritzl is accused of keeping his daughter Elisabeth hostage for 24 years, fathering her seven children, including Kerstin, 19. Three grew up underground, never seeing the light of day, while three were brought upstairs to be raised by Fritzl and his wife, who believed they had been abandoned. One died in infancy, authorities say.
Dr. Albert Reiter said Kerstin greeted him with a "hello'' during a bedside visit the morning of June 1, the day doctors removed the tube they had inserted in her throat to help her breathe.

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