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MCI's McGowan Recovering From Heart Transplant

May 08, 1987

MCI Telecommunications Corp. Chairman William McGowan is making a steady recovery from a heart transplant he underwent in April, four months after suffering a heart attack, Presbyterian-University Hospital in Pittsburgh disclosed Thursday.

McGowan, 59, suffered the heart attack Dec. 21. He was evaluated at the transplant center, placed on its transplant waiting list and received a new heart on April 25, a hospital spokeswoman said.

McGowan was not sustained by a mechanical heart as some patients are when they are in imminent danger of dying, she said. At his request, the hospital was withholding further details, including McGowan's condition.

Vice Chairman V. Orville Wright was named acting chief executive.

MCI spokesman Gary Tobin said it was not known when McGowan might recover sufficiently to resume running the company, but MCI officials presume that he intends to return.

The condition of McGowan, who bought into MCI in 1968 and built it into a nationwide long-distance phone company, had been the subject of speculation for some time.

McGowan decided on Wednesday to disclose the transplant, apparently to settle various rumors that were circulating about his condition, said MCI spokesman Gary Tobin said.

MCI, based in Washington, reported 1986 revenue of $3.6 billion. It is the nation's second-largest long-distance telephone company, after AT&T.

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