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THE NATION | IN BRIEF / VIRGINIA

Helms Awake, Receives Visitors After Surgery

April 27, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

A day after undergoing an operation to replace a worn-out pig valve installed in his heart 10 years ago, Sen. Jesse Helms was awake and responding to family members.

Helms, 80, remained in an intensive care unit but was allowed visitors. Officials at Inova Fairfax Hospital deferred all questions about his condition to Helms' office.

The North Carolina Republican has said he will retire in January after 30 years in the Senate. Helms has had several health problems in recent years, including knee replacement surgery and prostate cancer, and he often travels around the Capitol on a motorized scooter.

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