Page last updated at 11:25 GMT, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 12:25 UK

Cellar incest girl 'will recover'

Dr Albert Reiter describes Kerstin Fritzl's illness and her recovery

Kerstin Fritzl, the 19-year-old whose illness in April alerted the Austrian authorities to a major incest scandal, will make a full recovery, doctors say.

They say the woman, who spent her life as a captive in a cellar, has taken her first steps since waking from a coma.

Ms Fritzl, who was admitted to hospital suffering from major organ failure, has also been reunited with her siblings.

She is the eldest of seven children fathered by Josef Fritzl with his daughter, Elisabeth.

Steady progress

Though her mother visited her regularly, Kerstin finally met other family members on Sunday.

"The family is now very happy to all be together for the first time," family lawyer Christoph Herbst told a press conference.

Elisabeth and the six surviving children have moved into a house on hospital premises to enable them to live as normal a life as possible while still under hospital care.

"The reunion of Kerstin with her family a few days ago was a moving moment," hospital director Berthold Kepplinger told a press conference.

Josef Fritzl
Police say Fritzl has admitted imprisoning and raping his daughter

Her medical recovery was a "great relief", he said, adding that he expected her to recover fully and "develop normally".

Dr Albert Reiter, who treated Kerstin, said she said made steady progress since being woken from an artificially induced coma.

He said she first greeted him during a morning visit on 1 June.

"I said to Kerstin 'Hello Kerstin', and Kerstin tells me 'Hello'," he said.

Mr Kepplinger said she could read and write, and was good at communicating.

She told doctors that she would like to travel on a ship and listen to a Robbie Williams concert.

Elisabeth was held captive for 24 years and raped repeatedly by her father.

She and Kerstin and two other children lived in a cellar beneath his house. Three other children lived with Mr Fritzl, while another died as an infant.

Mr Fritzl, 73, remains in detention pending charges.

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