Pope Has Tracheotomy
Pope John Paul has been taken to an operating room in Rome’s Gemelli hospital and was expected to have surgery later Thursday to help him breathe more easily, Italian media said, quoting unnamed sources. Sky Italia television said the surgeons would perform a tracheotomy at 8:30 p.m., cutting a small opening into the Pontiff’s neck and the windpipe to allow air to flow directly into the lungs. Hospital and Vatican officials were not immediately available to comment on the reports.
CNN is covering the story in full-time mode.
Update (1541): CNN passes word from Italian television that the operation is completed, presumably successfully.