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Gov. Mark Dayton remains in hospital a month after back surgery

November 15, 2018

Gov. Mark Dayton has remained hospitalized at Mayo Clinic in Rochester for the past month after complications from a back surgery.

The governor said during an interview this week that he was still at Mayo because of post-surgical complications that damaged his lung. He has been going through physical therapy, and said he is otherwise recovering well. Dayton said it has not affected his ability to continue working with his commissioners and other staff members, with whom he has been in contact on a regular basis.

Dayton said he intends to return to St. Paul by Thanksgiving. But a spokeswoman noted that his return to the Capitol is at the discretion of his doctors.

Its been a much longer stretch than I bargained or planned for, Dayton said of his time in the hospital. He said he has been in touch with Gov.-elect Tim Walz and has plans to meet with Walz once hes back home.

Dayton had two back surgeries in October to improve his stability and leg strength. He has previously undergone similar surgeries to fuse his lower back vertebrae in 2012 and 2015. The governors office sent out a statement in October saying he would remain at Mayo Clinic for a few days after the procedure.

Health issues have been a struggle for the 71-year-old governor, who leaves office in early January after not running for a third term this year. In addition to his back surgeries, Dayton underwent surgery for prostate cancer in 2017. He revealed his cancer diagnosis the day after he collapsed during a State of the State speech, which he blamed on dehydration.

Erin Golden 612-673-4790

Jessie Van Berkel 651-925-5044

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