BANGOR (AP) – Stephen King is expected to remain in a hospital on Thanksgiving and for several days after that as he recovers from pneumonia, a spokesman for the author said.

King is conscious and in good spirits, and is expected to recover fully, spokesman Warren Silver said Wednesday. He is likely to remain in Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor for several days, the spokesman said.

King was diagnosed with pneumonia in the right lung before a recent trip to New York to receive a National Book Award for his contributions to American literature. His condition worsened when he returned to Maine and the pneumonia spread to the other lung, Silver said.

“He had been walking around with it, and it got worse and worse,” Silver said.

The author checked into the hospital Sunday and on Tuesday, he underwent a procedure to remove fluid and scar tissue from the right lung, Silver said.

He remained in the Bangor hospital Wednesday.

Silver told the Bangor Daily News there appears to be a connection between the pneumonia and a June 1999 accident in which King was struck by a van and nearly killed while walking near his summer home in Lovell.

King suffered a broken leg and hip, a punctured lung, broken ribs and other injuries. He underwent a number of surgeries to repair his injuries.

King sustained a “vulnerability” after the accident because of the collapsed lung, Silver said.

There “seems to be in his lungs a fair amount of scar tissue,” which doctors feel is related to the accident, the attorney said.

The 56-year-old King, whose many best sellers include “Carrie” and “The Shining,” requested no visitors except his family, and no flowers.

“I’m bringing him strawberry shortcake this afternoon,” Silver said. “He seems to have an appetite.”

AP-ES-11-26-03 1948EST

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