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Etta James taken off respirator after condition improves

The Associated Press, Friday, December 30, 2011, 1:03pm (PST)
  • RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) -- Etta James' manager says the terminally ill blues singer is breathing on her own after being taken off a respirator.

    RELATED: Year in Review: In Memoriam 2011

    Lupe De Leon said Friday that the change in her condition is great news and that the singer's blood pressure is normal.

    De Leon said James was put on a respirator when she was hospitalized in Southern California on Dec. 21 because she was having trouble breathing.

    RELATED: Year in Review: Stars Are Nothing Like Us

    James has been diagnosed with terminal leukemia and is suffering from dementia. She has been receiving mostly at-home care.

    Earlier this month, a judge set aside $350,000 for her medical care.

    James is best known for the hit "At Last."

    RELATED: Year in Celebrity News 2011

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