Rescued hiker in stable condition

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Reported by: Erik Avanier
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Updated: 7/22/2013 7:02 pm
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - The hiker at the center of a mountain rescue in late June who had to be air lifted to Erlanger Hospital in critical condition is now in stable condition.

Four weeks ago, Rome Ali, 31, of St. Louis Missouri nearly died when an alleged equipment malfunction caused him to plunge more than 50 feet while rope climbing along Lookout Mountain.

Ali suffered a life threatening blow to the head and for a while he was on life support. He had to undergo two surgeries to release pressure in the brain.

"The doctor said there was really not much more they they could do. He is currently stable and he is doing alright right now but it's an ongoing battle," said his brother Fahmy Hassan.

According to Hassan, his brother is not able to fully talk right now but is showing signs of improvement.

"He's showing us signs of spontaneous responses to some of the stimulus they are giving him but he's currently still under a lot of pressure," he said.

Since that tragic moment, family and friends from both the US and abroad have tried to be by his side. Even strangers have contacted the family.

"It's just heart warming to see everybody reaching out to give their support in any way," Ali's brother said with a smile.

The family is trying to move Ali to a medical facility closer to his home in St. Louis, financial support is what the family say they need right now to make that happen, especially since Ali didn't have health insurance and medical bills are starting to pile up.

"The restraints that the financial side of it has caused is a little bit of a stress that is always in the back of our minds but we're hopeful. That we'll make it through. Where there is a will there is a way," Hassan said.

The family has set up a website called for online donations to help with Ali's medical bills. They also set up a Facebook page to share Ali's story and show people how much Ali enjoyed life outdoors.

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