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Wally George in Hospital Facing Prostate Surgery

January 21, 1994|RICK VANDERKNYFF | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Conservative talk show host Wally George is recuperating after what he called a near brush with death over the weekend, but he faces surgery for a prostate condition in the weeks ahead.

George said doctors told him he was experiencing almost complete kidney failure Sunday when he was rushed to a hospital in the San Fernando Valley. He said he had been feeling ill for several weeks and had assumed it was a virus of some kind. But Sunday morning "I got up and felt like I was dying," and his wife, Janis, took him to Panorama Community Hospital, near his Sherman Oaks home.

"I was looking at death in the mirror," the host of KDOC-TV's "Hot Seat" said Thursday, on the phone from his hospital bed. "I really scared myself."

George said doctors discovered that his prostate was so enlarged that it had blocked his kidney ducts, and that his heart was beating erratically and his blood pressure was dangerously high. George, 61, said he had known of his prostate condition but had chosen to ignore it as he is "a chicken" about hospitals.

He said the hospital is working to stabilize his condition and probably will release him this weekend, and that he will remain at home until he is strong enough to undergo the surgery. The extent of the surgery is undetermined--part of the prostate has hardened, George said, indicating a possible tumor. Biopsy results are due next week.

George said he has received cards, flowers and phone calls from fans of "Hot Seat," which is taped in Anaheim and syndicated nationally. "My viewers have been so wonderful to me. . . . That has really, really kept my spirits up." A KDOC spokesperson said the channel will show reruns until George's return, which could be six weeks or more away.

For the past two weeks, George has also been doing a weekly radio show on local country station KIK-FM (94.3). He had been scheduled to emcee a punk rock show at the Ice House in Fullerton on Jan. 28. Promoters of that event could not be reached Thursday, but a recording indicated that plans for the concert are moving forward. (714) 323-8683.

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