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Studs Terkel leaves the hospital

93-year-old author enjoys ‘spectacular’ rebound after heart surgery
/ Source: The Associated Press

Writer, radio host and oral historian Studs Terkel, a 93-year-old Chicago icon, has been released from the hospital after undergoing risky open-heart surgery — with doctors calling the Pulitzer Prize winner’s recovery “spectacular.”

Terkel, who walked out of Rush University Medical Center Wednesday, underwent six hours of surgery on Aug. 9 to replace a narrowed aortic valve and redo one of five coronary bypasses he had done nine years ago, doctors said.

“To my knowledge, Studs is the oldest patient to undergo this complex redo,” said Dr. Marshall Goldin, the surgeon who operated on Terkel. “His progress is spectacular. He is recovering physically and mentally as well as someone half his age.”

Doctors say there are major risks associated with the procedure.

“Recognize that this operation is a risky operation for even a 60-year-old, let alone a 93-year-old,” said Dr. Constantine Mavroudis, surgeon-in-chief at Children’s Memorial Hospital. “The risks of the operation include death, stroke, myocardial infarction and resultant heart failure. If complications are avoided, then Studs should do just fine, given time for rehabilitation.”

Terkel, whose firsthand chronicles of American life go back to the Great Depression, said he intends to continue working.

In addition to writing his memoirs, Terkel plans to help promote his new book, “And They All Sang: Adventures of an Eclectic Disc Jockey,” a collection of interviews with performers such as Louis Armstrong and Bob Dylan. It is due out next month.