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Wed, 4 Dec 2002, 07:03 PM

John Lingenfelter Update
By Phil Burgess,

Dec. 2: After a scary setback Friday, Nov. 29, John Lingenfelter is preparing for a second surgery on his broken neck later this week. He remains in the intensive care unit of an Indiana hospital.

A surgical team was preparing Lingenfelter for surgery Friday when he suffered an apparent reaction to the anesthetic and went into full cardiac arrest.

"Basically, none of the work done in the neck operation in Pomona held," said team spokesperson Tom Cress. "They were going back in to repair the fusion, and had given him the anesthetic and were inserting a trach tube to assist his breathing when he went into cardiac arrest. Fortunately for us, one of the world's top cardiologists happened to be right outside the door and was able to step in and help. They were able to keep his blood pressure and oxygen levels up the entire time."

Doctors were able to perform an angioscope on Lingenfelter's heart and did not detect any damage from the episode. They were further able to determine that it was not a heart attack per se. Although Lingenfelter is able to breathe on his own, doctors have chosen to leave the trach tube in place until the surgery can take place later this week.

"Until just before the surgery, John was doing real well," added Cress. "He was talking and making jokes. His longterm memory is real good, but he has no real recollections of the accident.

"Sometimes you forward and then take a couple of steps back before you can move forward again. We've got nothing but time."

Friends and well-wishers are reminded that Lingenfelter cannot accept visitors at this time. Cards and letters may be sent to the shop at 1557 Winchester Road, Decatur, IN 46733

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