Woman improves after drinking chemical-laced tea

Woman improves after drinking chemical-laced tea
Attorney Paxton Guymon holds a photograph of Jim and Jan Harding during a news conference in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014 (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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A woman who unknowingly drank iced tea laced with an industrial cleaning solution at a Utah restaurant has improved for the first time since being flown to a hospital nearly a week ago.

Family attorney Paxton Guymon says Jan Harding's breathing tube has been removed, and the 67-year-old was able to whisper briefly. She also got out of bed with assistance from nurses.

Guymon said Saturday that Harding's family is more optimistic about her recovery, though she remains in critical condition.

Authorities say the heavy-duty cleaner lye that ended up in the sweetened iced tea she drank Sunday at Dickey's Barbecue in South Jordan was unintentionally mixed into a bag of sugar, which a worker later added into the iced tea dispenser.

Doctors found deep, ulcerated burns in Harding's upper esophagus.

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