Posted: March 10, 2003
BIDEN RECOVERING FROM SURGERY
By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer
U.S. Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. had emergency
surgery Sunday morning to remove his gall bladder during what was
supposed to be a weekend getaway in Florida, his office said Monday.
Biden already was out of the hospital by
Monday and staying with a relative in Ft. Myers in Southwest
Florida, according to Norman J. Kurz, the communications director
for the six-term Democrat.
"The surgery was routine and uncomplicated,"
Kurz said. "He's resting comfortably."
Biden, 60, left Friday to take a three-day
break with his wife Jill and daughter Ashley, Kurz said. He
experienced abdominal pain on Saturday and had microscopic surgery
about 24 hours later to remove his gall bladder, an organ near the
liver for storing bile.
Biden is expected to miss this week in the
Senate but to recover quickly. "He's a healthy guy. He's pretty fit,
and he doesn't have other issues," Kurz said.
The last time Biden's health became public,
the situation was far more serious. In February 1988 he suffered
from severe headaches that were found to be caused by a brain
aneurysm, a blood vessel leaking in his brain.
It was life threatening. An ambulance and a
police escort took him through snow and rain from St. Francis
Hospital in Wilmington, where he was diagnosed, to Walter Reed Army
Medical Center in Washington, where surgery lasted for eight hours.
During the operation a second aneurysm was
discovered, so more surgery was planned after Biden recuperated from
the first. In between, he also was treated for a blood clot in his
lungs. He needed six months to recover from that ordeal.
In a political timeline, Biden's aneurysm
surgery occurred during his third Senate term after he had dropped
out of the 1988 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The gall bladder removal happened while he is considering another
try for the nomination in 2004.
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