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Ventura hospitalized with blood clot in lung

Previous clot 'cost me a huge amount of money'

Through a spokesman, Ventura's wife said the governor was "in a very good mood."  

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) -- Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura was hospitalized Tuesday with chest pains as a result of a "recurrent blood clot in his lung," his spokesman said.

Ventura spokesman John Wodele said the governor, who has a history of pulmonary problems, was in stable condition at North Memorial Medical Center, where he is undergoing tests. A previous blood clot in his lung led to Ventura's retirement from professional wrestling in 1984.

Wodele said Ventura -- who turns 51 next Monday -- woke up Tuesday morning "with discomfort in what he felt was his lung." His personal physician examined him and recommended he check into the hospital.

Wodele said the hospitalization was mainly a precaution, but he added "any time you are dealing with this kind of condition you have to be very, very careful." He said Ventura's wife Terry was at his side.

"When I spoke with the first lady, she assured me that the governor was in a very good mood. He is communicating," Wodele said.

Not handing over power

Dr. Robert Colbert, a pulmonary specialist at North Memorial Medical Center and the governor's attending physician, said Ventura was admitted to the facility for "evaluation and treatment of chest pains related to a recurrent blood clot in his lung."

"He is stable, in good spirits and undergoing treatment with blood thinners," Colbert said.

Ventura will remain hospitalized overnight, and all his scheduled events over the next two days have been canceled. Wodele said Lt. Gov. Mae Schunk, who has been at a conference in California, was notified of Ventura's condition and decided to fly home Tuesday night.

But Wodele said "There has been no consideration of handing over power."

"The governor is in complete control of his faculties. He is in good spirits and very, very capable of governing -- and has been for 3 1/2 years," he said.

'Lowest point' of my life

Four years ago, Ventura -- a former Navy SEAL who became mayor of a Minneapolis suburb after leaving wrestling -- stunned Minnesota's political establishment when he won the governor's office as a third-party candidate. But Ventura announced last month he would not run for re-election, saying his heart was no longer in the job and he was tired of criticism of his family.

Media outlets in Minnesota had recently reported that Ventura's 22-year-old son, Tyrel, had used the official governor's residence for parties and some staff members had complained about the mess.

In a 1998 interview with City Pages, an alternative newspaper serving the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, Ventura said the "lowest point" in his life came when he was "hit with pulmonary emboli" the night he was to wrestle Hulk Hogan in Los Angeles before a sell-out crowd.

"It cost me a huge amount of money," Ventura said. "That was the lowest point also because I was critical for six days, and my wife had to fly to San Diego to be at my bedside."

Asked if he was afraid of death, Ventura told the paper he wasn't because of his Navy training. He added, "And you know why else I'm not afraid of it? Because so many lesser individuals have done it. In the words of Jim Morrison, no one gets out of here alive."




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