updated 04/21/2004 AT 1:00 AM ET
•originally published 06/03/1999 AT 12:00 AM ET
Joe DiMaggio has improved dramatically from a serious lung infection and fever, his doctor said Tuesday. “We called the family (Monday) because, frankly, we thought we were getting down to the last road,” Dr. Earl Barron told the Associated Press Tuesday. “Today, there’s a little more hope.” DiMaggio, recovering from Oct. 14 lung cancer surgery (his right lung was removed), fought off a 102-degree fever, pneumonia in his good lung and an intestinal infection that developed over the weekend. His condition was so grim at that time that doctors gathered DiMaggio’s family and discussed signing a “do not resuscitate” form for the 84-year-old baseball Hall of Famer. “We talked about that, but they did not feel comfortable with that,” Barron said.