Hayden enters Hopkins under assumed name

May 24, 1994|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Sun Staff Writer

Baltimore County Executive Roger B. Hayden checked into Johns Hopkins Hospital under an assumed name Sunday "and wants total privacy" for an operation to remove malformed blood vessels from his brain, a hospital spokeswoman said yesterday.

Joann Rodgers, the Hopkins spokeswoman, said that under Maryland law she could divulge no more about the executive's condition.

Twice yesterday afternoon word came -- once through a county spokesman and once through another hospital public relations worker -- that Mr. Hayden's surgery was under way. Both times the statements were retracted a few minutes after they were made.

Mr. Hayden's decision to keep his progress and condition a secret is a turnaround in his attitude toward his condition. He has willingly been interviewed by telephone twice since he was first hospitalized May 8, when a blood vessel broke in his brain, causing a painful headache and a partial loss of his right-side vision. Mr. Hayden revealed his plans for surgery May 16, when he said he would re-enter Hopkins Sunday and have the congenital vascular malformation removed.

The situation grew even more confused yesterday because Robert Hughes, the county communications director, is also a patient at Hopkins, where he is receiving scheduled medical tests. By the close of business yesterday, Michael S. Gimbel, director of the county's Office of Substance Abuse and an occasional administration spokesman, said he was helping out in Mr. Hughes' absence but did not know the county executive's medical status.

Mr. Hayden, 49, was hospitalized for a week after awaking at home May 8 with a severe headache. He remained ill for several days from side effects of medical tests that were conducted to learn more about the affected blood vessels.

The congenital condition was diagnosed 20 years ago, Mr. Hayden said, but had not caused a problem previously other than headaches.

Doctors said the operation typically involves removing a piece of the skull, surgically removing from the brain's surface the enlarged tangle of blood vessels causing the problem and sealing off the remaining vessel endings with heat.

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