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Lt. Gov. in Charge of State, One Day After Brain Surgery

December 19, 1986

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) _ Lt. Gov. Ruth Meiers was left in charge of the state Friday, a day after undergoing surgery to a brain tumor, when Gov. George Sinner flew to a meeting in Washington, D.C.

Mrs. Meiers, who was listed in good condition and was out of intensive care Friday, was told a few hours before Thursday’s surgery that she would be acting governor.

″The governor certainly must have a lot of confidence in me,″ she responded, according to Robert Jansen, Sinner’s press secretary.

Sinner, who was to return Friday night, flew to a meeting with North Dakota energy executives and U.S. Trade Representative Clayton Yeutter.

Mrs. Meiers, 61, is expected to leave the Medcenter One hospital Tuesday.

Surgeons used a laser Thursday to destroy a walnut-sized cancerous tumor that was discovered in the right side of her brain. The tumor was discovered in September, along with another growth in her head and cancer in her lung.

Mrs. Meiers was sharp after the one-hour, 13-minute operation and did not appear to have suffered any ill effects, said Dr. Ken Mattheis.

″She’s awake and talking, and we don’t expect any weakness,″ he said.

Doctors had ruled out surgery after the cancer was found but said it became feasible when radiation brought the other tumors under control.

Mrs. Meiers told Mattheis she intends to return to work in time to preside over the state Senate when the Legislature convenes next month.

Mattheis said it was difficult to predict her chance for recovery, but ″I think we can honestly say it does look better now than it did in September.″

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