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Surgery goes well for Barbara Bush

Thu., March 5, 2009

Former first lady Barbara Bush was resting comfortably after undergoing successful open heart surgery Wednesday to replace her aortic valve, a family spokesman and hospital officials said.

The surgery at The Methodist Hospital lasted about 2 1/2 hours and was scheduled last week after Bush, 83, experienced a shortness of breath, family spokesman Jim McGrath said.

He said doctors determined the aortic valve had started to harden.

Dr. Gerald Lawrie, a heart surgeon at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, said the surgery went “extremely well.”

“I expect her to recover fully and soon resume her normal activities,” Lawrie said.


Chimp’s victim might not improve

A Connecticut woman mauled by a chimpanzee two weeks ago lost her hands, nose, lips and eyelids, and may be blind and suffering brain damage, and hospital officials say it’s still unclear if her condition can improve at all.

The Cleveland Clinic, revealing the specific injuries Wednesday for the first time, said that 55-year-old Charla Nash also lost the bone structure in her face when she was attacked on Feb. 16 in Stamford, Conn.

Neurosurgeons and ophthalmologists are working to evaluate and manage her injuries, but “the full extent of these injuries and her potential for recovery, if any, remain unclear at this time,” the hospital said.

Nash remains sedated in the hospital, which performed the nation’s first face transplant in December. Hospital officials say it’s too early to know if she will be a candidate for a face transplant.

The 200-pound chimp was shot and killed by police. Police are still deciding whether its owner will face criminal charges.


Kennedy made honorary knight

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told Congress Wednesday that Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has been awarded honorary knighthood.

The Massachusetts Democrat, who is battling brain cancer, did not attend Brown’s address Wednesday to a Joint Meeting of Congress.

Brown told the senator on Tuesday night that Queen Elizabeth II had made him a member of British nobility.

Brown said Kennedy had helped bring peace to Northern Ireland, expand health care for Americans and improve access to education for children around the world.

From wire reports

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