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Henry Ford II’s Condition Worsens As Pneumonia Leads To Heart Problems

September 24, 1987

DETROIT (AP) _ Henry Ford II’s condition has been downgraded from serious to very serious as the automobile executive began developing heart and kidney problems related to pneumonia, hospital officials say.

Ford, 70, remained in the intensive care unit of Henry Ford Hospital today, spokeswoman Chris Kassab said.

″Today’s events are not encouraging,″ Ford’s physician, Dr. Bruce Steinhauer, said in a prepared statement Wednesday. ″Mr. Ford’s lungs have not recovered. The inflammation and fibrosis continue in spite of ... treatment and respiratory support.″

″Insufficient oxygen is getting into his bloodstream. This ... is putting an extra burden on his heart. This has resulted in a circulatory problem to the kidneys so that he is now on dialysis.″

Despite the complications, the most serious threat to Ford’s health continued to be pneumonia, Steinhauer said.

Ford, whose grandfather, Henry Ford, founded both Ford Motor Co. and Henry Ford Hospital, was admitted Sept. 12 after being treated several days at Cottage Hospital in the Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe Farms.

Ford became president of Ford Motor in 1945 at age 28 at the urging of President Franklin Roosevelt, who feared the company would collapse because of mismanagement by its aging founder. Ford later became chairman. He retired from the company on Oct. 1, 1982 but remains a member of Ford’s board of directors and chairs its finance committee.

Among his initiatives as head of the world’s second largest automaker was the Renaissance Center, a landmark, high-rise downtown Detroit office, retail and hotel complex backed by a Ford subsidiary, and completed in 1977.

He has residences in Palm Beach, Fla., Grosse Pointe Farms and England.

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