By JOHN HEILPRIN
WASHINGTON – Republican vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney, said by his doctor to be recovering well from a mild heart attack, was being released from the hospital today.
“He’s going home,” said Cheney chief of staff Kathleen Shanahan.
The 59-year-old Cheney’s examining physician said Thursday the patient was in good condition and that he looked great while resting up and enjoying Thanksgiving at George Washington University Hospital.
Cheney checked himself into the hospital early Wednesday after suffering chest pains.
Doctors said later in the day he had suffered a mild heart attack.
Hospital spokeswoman Lisa Saisselin said Cheney felt well enough on Thanksgiving to share “turkey and all the trimmings” at the hospital with his family.
Joining him for Thanksgiving dinner at the hospital were his wife, Lynne, his oldest daughter, Liz, her husband, Phil, and three granddaughters, Kate, Elizabeth and Grace.
Cheney said in a statement that he and his family “appreciate all the kind thoughts and good wishes he’s received from Americans across the country.”
Democratic vice presidential nominee Joseph Lieberman and Cheney spoke by telephone Thursday morning, with Lieberman wishing his Republican counterpart a speedy recovery and a happy Thanksgiving, said Kathleen Shanahan, Cheney’s chief of staff.
Despite the extraordinary presidential election legal contest taking place in Florida, the two had a “very cordial” conversation and both vice presidential candidates said “they would like to get together when this is all resolved,” Shanahan said.
Aides to GOP presidential nominee George W. Bush said Cheney will be able to resume his duties with the campaign as it fights Democrat Al Gore for the clinching electoral votes in Florida.
After checking himself in to the hospital with chest pains, tests revealed that an artery had narrowed since his last heart checkup in 1996.
One of his arteries was 90 percent blocked and doctors performed an operation to prop it open. Later, the doctors learned Cheney actually had suffered a “very slight” heart attack.
Cheney suffered three heart attacks more than a decade ago and underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 1988 to clear clogged arteries. Doctors gave him a clean bill of health when Bush chose him as his running mate this summer.
Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.