South Bend Silver Hawks manager Mark Haley is breathing on his own and is scheduled to be removed from intensive care, according to an update from his wife Wednesday.
Haley, the 52-year-old manager of Arizona's Class A affiliate, has been hospitalized for 20 days after he suffered a ruptured bowel following back surgery earlier last month. He was admitted to South Bend Memorial Hospital on Dec. 24 after experiencing urinary tract and abdominal pain, with further testing revealing a ruptured bowel. He underwent surgery Dec. 29 to remove a portion of his bowel and had been unable to breath on his own or sleep without medication since.
Haley's wife, Ann, a nurse, has been providing daily updates on her husband's status as friends, family and fans continue to show support for the D-backs coach who was briefly promoted to the Major League staff at the end of the 2011 season.
"Unfortunately, Mark is going to have a lot to deal [with]," Ann Haley wrote, "but he is alive!"
Haley is largely unaware of what has transpired over the last few weeks, his wife said. A CT scan Wednesday came back negative, and doctors plan to move Haley from his intensive care room today to a surgical floor, and then to a rehab floor. His wife said Haley may be able to sit up and consume water today as well.
"This is wonderful news, huge!" Midwest League president George Spelius wrote Wednesday. "What an ordeal you have all been through. The power of faith and love, amazing!"
Haley was expected to receive a feeding tube Thursday if his condition stabilized. His wife said his blood pressure and heart rate had improved a day after doctors were concerned about an elevated white blood cell count.
"The day I had been waiting for has finally arrived. Mark was extubated today at noon!" Ann Haley wrote on Wednesday afternoon. "He did fantastic! He is extremely weak and will require some intense physical therapy, but he is alive! Initially he was disoriented."
Haley has managed at South Bend since 2005 and lives in the town with his wife and their two children. He's won nearly 500 games with the Silver Hawks, has twice been named Midwest League Manager of the Year and, in 2010, had his No. 51 retired by the club as part of a "Mark Haley Night" tribute.