Schaefer in hospital for cardiac testing

April 29, 1993|By John W. Frece and Jonathan Bor | John W. Frece and Jonathan Bor,Staff Writers

Feeling ill and complaining of a tightness in his chest, Gov. William Donald Schaefer yesterday was admitted for the second time in eight months to the Johns Hopkins Hospital coronary care unit to undergo tests.

The 71-year-old governor, who an aide said has not felt well for several days, was driven by a state trooper from the governor's mansion to the hospital about 10 a.m. He was admitted about an hour later for "precautionary" tests and observation, said his press secretary, Page W. Boinest.

Ms. Boinest said Mr. Schaefer had spent part of the weekend planting and raking in the garden of his private residence in Pasadena and afterward felt tired and rundown. But she said he was alert and in no pain yesterday and ate lunch in the hospital cafeteria while waiting for a room.

The governor was seen at Hopkins by his cardiologist, Dr. Stephen Achuff, and by his friend, Dr. James D'Orta. "Thus far there is no evidence the governor suffered a heart attack," Dr. Achuff said last night. "Everything is fine," a Hopkins spokeswoman said. "He is in good condition."

Mr. Schaefer was hospitalized overnight last August for almost identical symptoms, but a series of blood and stress tests and cardiac monitoring revealed no evidence of heart disease, Ms. Boinest said. However, doctors changed the type of medication the governor takes for high blood pressure.

The governor had been scheduled to travel to Kentucky yesterday to discuss ways of boosting private sponsorship of horse races such as Maryland's Preakness. He was to have returned to Maryland for a daylong tour of Frederick County today and then to have headed back to Kentucky tomorrow for this weekend's Kentucky Derby. While Mr. Schaefer's participation in those trips was canceled, his chief-of-staff, Paul E. Schurick, took his place on yesterday's Kentucky trip.

Just before the 1993 General Assembly adjourned earlier this month, Mr. Schaefer fell ill with the flu and missed several days of work.

Despite that, despite his age, and despite his lame-duck status as the end of his second term draws closer, Mr. Schaefer has remained remarkably energetic. The pace of the schedule he had originally planned for this week was not unusual.

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