03/22/2015 05:12 EDT | Updated 03/03/2016 06:59 EST

Steve Fonyo Out Of Coma, Has Head Injury From Surrey, B.C. Attack

Fonyo, who lost a leg to bone cancer as a child, ran across Canada in 1984 to raise money for cancer research.

Boris Spremo via Getty Images
CANADA - MAY 29: Steve Fonyo (Photo by Boris Spremo/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

More than a month after Steve Fonyo was stabbed during a violent home invasion, he has been lifted from an induced coma but is suffering from memory loss and slurred speech.

His sister Suzanne Main says doctors have diagnosed him with a head injury but they don't know whether it will be permanent and her family is holding out hope for a full recovery.

She says the medically induced coma was lifted about two weeks ago, but her visit this weekend marked the first time she saw him awake since the Feb. 13 attack.

When she arrived at the hospital on Saturday, Main says Fonyo started to cry and hugged her tightly, telling her in a slurred voice how happy he was to see her.

Main says the head injury is preventing RCMP from interviewing Fonyo about what investigators have said was likely a targeted assault in his home in Surrey, southeast of Vancouver, where three men stormed his doorway.

Fonyo, who lost a leg to bone cancer as a child, first became known to Canadians in 1984 when he ran across Canada to raise money for cancer research.

But his achievements were later overshadowed by criminal convictions and jail.


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