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Sen. Coverdell in Serious Condition

July 18, 2000

ATLANTA (AP) _ Sen. Paul Coverdell remained hospitalized in serious condition Tuesday after undergoing surgery to relieve pressure on his brain from a cerebral hemorrhage.

Dr. Gary Gropper, the neurosurgeon who performed the two-hour operation Monday at Piedmont Hospital, said the surgery was a success, but it was unclear what lasting effects the Georgia Republican would have.

``I think over the next 48 hours we’ll have a better idea how he’s doing,″ Gropper said Monday.

``It’s a serious condition. Any time that you have a cerebral hemorrhage and you require my services, it’s serious,″ he said.

Gropper said doctors operated on a blood clot in one of Coverdell’s temporal lobes, a portion of the brain that controls visual recognition, auditory perception, memory and emotion.

Coverdell, 61, was in the hospital’s intensive care unit Tuesday morning, nursing supervisor Kristy Bachman said. The hospital would give no details.

The senator, who had reported no serious health problems in the past, was admitted Saturday night after complaining of severe headaches.

Tests revealed the hemorrhage and his condition worsened, making the surgery necessary, said Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., a doctor who is a friend of Coverdell’s family.

``We’re not going to go into details of the diagnosis other than that,″ said Frist, who appeared at a news conference with Gropper.

Coverdell, who served as Peace Corps director in the Bush administration, was first elected to the Senate in 1992 by defeating incumbent Democrat Wyche Fowler Jr. He serves as the Senate’s GOP Conference secretary and sits on several committees, including agriculture, finance and foreign relations.

He has been the Senate liaison for Gov. George W. Bush’s presidential campaign. The candidate issued a statement saying he and his wife ``join the people of Georgia in sending our love and best wishes″ to the senator and his family.

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