Wallace Has Restful Night After Return Home From Colorado Hospital
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) _ Gov. George C. Wallace is back in Alabama, resting at the Governor’s Mansion, after a spinal operation that will keep him away from the office at least two more weeks.
The 65-year-old governor returned Saturday evening from Craig Hospital in Colorado, where he underwent surgery to relieve intense pain stemming from his paralysis. Wallace, paralyzed from the waist down by a would-be assassin’s bullet while campaigning for president in 1972, had the operation on July 24.
More than 20 aides and well-wishers greeted Wallace on his return at Dannelly Field.
″It’s good to be back,″ Wallace said as security guards lifted him from a critical care jet supplied by the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The plane allowed the governor to lie down for the four-hour flight from Colorado.
″I feel better than when I left. It will take a little while to get better,″ the governor said.
Doctors at Craig said the surgery to stop pain in Wallace’s back, hips and legs was successful. Doctors said they will attempt to wean the governor off his powerful pain-killing drugs, including methadone.
″What we were told by the doctors is he will spend up to two weeks pretty confined convalescence at the mansion with limited visitation, only what’s necessary to conduct business. After that, he may get to the office for limited periods,″ said press secretary Billy Joe Camp.
During the surgical procedure, known as a dorsal-route entry zone, doctors made a 10-inch incision in Wallace’s back. Then, more than 80 steel electrodes were inserted temporarily along the spinal cord to kill nerves that were sending the so-called ″phantom pain″ from his paralyzed legs and waist.