Czech President Still On Respirator
Vaclav Havel still needs a respirator, but his doctors were optimistic Saturday that the Czech president was recovering after surgery for lung cancer and subsequent complications.
On Monday, doctors removed a half-inch malignant tumor and half of Havel’s right lung. On Thursday, they performed a tracheotomy to help him breathe after a mild case of pneumonia developed, and put him on a respirator.
According to members of the medical team, Havel is on respirator about 30 percent of the time when awake and a little more when sleeping.
Havel, 60, a chain-smoking former dissident playwright, is alert but must communicate through written notes because of the tube installed in his throat for hookup to the respirator, said presidential spokesman Ladislav Spacek.