Cheney celebrates Thanksgiving with family at hospital

Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — Republican vice-presidential nominee Dick Cheney, recovering from what doctors called "a very slight" heart attack, was feeling well enough Thanksgiving Day to have turkey and all the trimmings with his family, hospital spokesperson Lisa Saisselin said Thursday.

Saisselin, speaking for doctors at George Washington University hospital, where Cheney underwent treatment Wednesday to open a seriously blocked artery, held out hope that he could be released within 24 hours.

"If Cheney continues to do as perfectly as he’s doing now, he could be discharged as early as (toFday)," she said.

Cheney suffered three previous heart attacks and underwent bypass surgery during the 1980s when he was seeking and winning five terms representing his home state of Wyoming in Congress.

The occurrence of a fourth episode, although apparently small, indicates he continues to suffer from coronary artery disease.

Cheney was pronounced fit by his doctors last summer when he became Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.

Officials in the Bush campaign, as well as Cheney himself, insisted the latest incident would not affect his ability to keep working now or in the future.

"We anticipate that he will continue to be available by phone and the doctors have told us that there are no limitations," Bush spokeswoman Karen Hughes said. "He’s been involved in the conference calls and the decision making, and we expect that will continue."

After suffering his first three coronary attacks and undergoing the bypass operation, Cheney went on to serve as secretary of Defense under President Bush during the Persian Gulf War and led a vigorous program of corporate expansion as CEO of the Texas-based Halliburton Co.

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