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Minnesota Gov. Ventura Hospitalized

July 10, 2002

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Gov. Jesse Ventura was admitted to the hospital with chest pains and was given blood thinners to dissolve a blood clot in his lung, the same aliment that ended his wrestling career.

Ventura, who turns 51 on Monday, spent Tuesday night at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale after waking up with chest pains. He canceled his public schedule for the next couple of days, but was in good spirits, his spokesman said.

``He’ll be fine,″ John Wodele said.

Lt. Gov. Mae Schunk was flying back early from California, where she had been attending an education conference, but Ventura didn’t immediately plan to hand over power.

``He’s in complete control of his faculties,″ Wodele said.

A blood clot ended Ventura’s wrestling career in the mid-1980s. He was hospitalized in intensive care for six days in San Diego, and was treated with clot-busting medication and an angiogram.

In a 1998 interview, Ventura described the experience as the lowest moment of his life, noting that he was forced to miss a big payday against Hulk Hogan in Los Angeles.

Ventura, an independent who stunned the political world with his election in 1998, said last month he would not seek a second term this fall. When he made the announcement, the former wrestler said his heart was no longer in the job and that he was tired of criticism of his family.

According to the Mayo Clinic, about 600,000 Americans experience a blocked artery in their lungs each year. Symptoms vary greatly, but common ones include chest pain, bloody cough, excessive sweating, rapid heartbeat, lightheadedness.

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On the Net: http://www.governor.state.mn.us

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