JUNEAU A Juneau activist and former Assembly member was in critical condition at a Baltimore hospital, suffering from pneumonia and congestive heart failure.
But Rosalee Walker, 73, was showing improvement Monday at Johns Hopkins Hospital, according to relatives.
''Things are looking very optimistic,'' Diane Randall, Walker's daughter, told the Juneau Empire. ''The doctors I spoke to (Sunday) evening said she wasn't going to make it. The doctors said (Monday) morning that she had turned the corner.''
Walker, who lives in Juneau, arrived in Baltimore May 10. She grew up there, and she has two daughters, Randall and Karen Smith, who still live in the area.
Walker planned to attend the 50th reunion of her graduating class at Coppin State Teachers College. She also planned to visit a doctor at Johns Hopkins to get an opinion after experiencing some trouble breathing before she left Juneau, Randall said.
Walker was in good health for the first week of her Baltimore vacation. By May 19, she had trouble breathing, Randall said.
Walker has been in an induced sleep-state since May 21 with a tube in her throat to help her breathe. Doctors removed the tube Monday, and she was able to breathe on her own for three hours before she tired.
She opened her eyes at Sunday evening for the first time since May 21, Randall said.
Walked moved to Juneau in 1967 from Maryland. She served three terms with the Juneau Assembly, from 1984 to 1993. She volunteers at various organizations, including the National Senior Service Corps and the Boys & Girls Club.
''Sister Rosalee is a very strong woman and advocate for the people of Juneau,'' said Dolores Cadiente, grand president of the Alaska Native Sisterhood. ''Everybody knows her, and everybody who doesn't probably just moved to town. We continue to lift up our prayers for the continued healing and strength of her and her family.''
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