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CNN Today

Dick Cheney Celebrates Thanksgiving in Good Condition

Aired November 23, 2000 - 2:32 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

STEPHEN FRAZIER, CNN ANCHOR: This update on vice presidential candidate, Dick Cheney -- Republican candidate -- he is spending this holiday -- as we've been telling you -- in a Washington hospital. The latest update is that he had a restful night, as doctors say, after suffering what they are now calling a very slight heart attack.

Our medical correspondent Eileen O'Connor is outside George Washington Hospital Medical Center with the latest for us now.

Eileen, happy Thanksgiving.

EILEEN O'CONNOR, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Happy Thanksgiving, Stephen.

And Mr. Cheney had a happy Thanksgiving with his family inside of the hospital. They had turkey and all the trimmings. He also met with his doctors earlier today. His doctor, Jonathan Reiner, who performed the angioplasty yesterday, said that Mr. Cheney is looking great, and if he does as perfectly as he has been doing, he actually may be released from the hospital as early as tomorrow morning.

Mr. Cheney and Mrs. Cheney expressed their gratitude for the best wishes that they have been receiving from America. There's even been a truck driving around here at times that says, "God bless Dick Cheney." So they have been receiving a lot of well-wishes from all over the world. And we also know, of course, that he's been getting phone calls -- at least yesterday -- from George W. Bush, from the governor.

Also, Mr. Cheney himself has been in very good spirits. As I said, he was allowed to have turkey. They do say, the doctors, that he will be able to get back to whatever job he has at his full capacity -- Stephen.

FRAZIER: Eileen, I know, in your experience as a medical correspondent, you may be familiar with this. But for the rest of us, this seems like an awfully quick recovery following such a serious procedure. Even though they're minimizing its effects, it's seriously nonetheless.

O'CONNOR: It is serious. You know, what they did basically in angioplasty is that they found -- as he came into the heart attack -- came into the hospital yesterday complaining of heart pains -- and they did discover that he had this mild heart attack. In that process, they found that one of his arteries was blocked about 90-95 percent.

But they went in. And they call it is a non-invasive procedure. It's not full surgery, which allows for the quick recovery time. Basically, they go in with a catheter through the vein. They then expand the artery and they put in a stent. It's kind of like a scaffolding-type thing that keeps that artery open. So they say he will be good for the future -- Jonathan -- sorry, Stephen.

FRAZIER: Thanks, Eileen, talk to you later.

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