Whittington Suffers Heart Attack from Cheney Shooting
This weekend’s hunting accident involving the Vice President has suddenly turned quite serious:
The 78-year-old lawyer who was accidentally shot by Vice President Dick Cheney on Saturday suffered a mild heart attack today after bird shot migrated to his heart, doctors in South Texas said. Doctors said Mr. Whittington was moved back into the intensive care unit after his heart monitors detected an irregular beat this morning. After consulting with cardiologists in Corpus Christi, Tex., where he is being treated, and with those on the White House medical team, his doctors decided to perform a cardiac catheterization around 10 a.m. Eastern time to determine the extent of the damage.
Peter Banko, the administrator of Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi, said that the procedure, which sends a dye into the blood vessels all the way to the heart, detected one BB size pellet in his heart that was causing his heart to quiver. “Some of the bird shot appears to have moved and lodged into part of his heart, causing the arterial fibrillation, in what we would say is a minor heart attack,” Dr. Banko told reporters this afternoon at a news briefing outside the hospital. He said Mr. Whittington was in stable condition now, and alert, but that he would remain in the hospital for at least another week to make sure that pellet and any others did not continue to move to other vital organs. But Dr. David Blanchard, the hospital’s chief of emergency, said the pellet “does not appear to be mobile.”
In Washington, Mr. Cheney’s office said the vice president was told when he arrived at the White House this morning that doctors had decided to perform the catheterization on Mr. Whittington. They also said the vice president had called Mr. Whittington at about 1:30 p.m., after the procedure, and had spoken with him. “The vice president wished Mr. Whittington well and asked if there was anything he needed,” the statement said. “The vice president said that he stood ready to assist. Mr. Whittington’s spirits were good, but obviously his situation deserves the careful monitoring that his doctors are providing. “The vice president said that his thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Whittington and his family,” the statement went on to say.
White House Finds Humor in Hunting Mishap (AP)
Cheney Accident Triggers Jokes on Late-Night TV (WSJ)
Groans at Home Re: (Cheney Joke Here) (NYT)
Previously: VP Cheney Accidentally Shoots Hunting Partner