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Mother Teresa Suffers New Chest Pain, Hospital Says

January 3, 1992

LA JOLLA, Calif. (AP) _ Mother Teresa suffered a new episode of chest pain apparently caused by a spasm in a small blood vessel, her doctors said Thursday.

The 81-year-old Roman Catholic nun, who won the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize for her work with homeless beggars, orphans, lepers and other forgotten people, remained in serious condition at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation.

She has been at the hospital since the day after Christmas for treatment of pneumonia that led to congestive heart failure.

The new chest pain occurred Wednesday night and was treated with medicine, the hospital said in a statement. It said an angiogram indicated that all of her major blood vessels looked fine.

On Sunday, cardiologists Patricia Aubanel and Paul Teirstein performed an artery-opening procedure called angioplasty, threading a balloon on the end of a tube into the clogged artery and inflating the balloon briefly.

The doctors said the arterial spasm was to be expected in a patient of Mother Teresa’s age who has undergone an angioplasty. They said they weren’t frustrated by her lack of improvement.

″She’s not getting worse,″ Teirstein said. ″She has some good moments. She has some worse moments and it will take a couple of days before we see a general trend.″

Aubanel said Mother Teresa had received get-well messages from former President Reagan and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney of Canada.

Dr. Anita Figueredo, a longtime friend of Mother Teresa, said Wednesday that Mother Teresa has by no means resigned herself to dying, but believes that God will decide whether she will continue her mission to serve the world’s downtrodden.

″Whether she dies is no big deal to Mother,″ said Ms. Figueredo. ″She believes that if this is his time to take her, then she will go. This is a whole different approach.″

Mother Teresa was admitted to the hospital for treatment of bacterial pneumonia after she took ill while visiting an outlet of her religious order, the Missionaries of Charity, in Tijuana, Mexico.

She later suffered angina, or chest pain brought on by an inadequate blood supply to the heart. Doctors say the pneumonia briefly triggered congestive heart failure. She has a history of high blood pressure and was fitted with a pacemaker about two years ago to correct an irregular heartbeat.

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