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Ford released from Mayo Clinic, heads home

By Jeff Hansel

jhansel@postbulletin.com

President Gerald Ford -- the nation's oldest living president -- left Rochester's Mayo Clinic and returned home to Rancho Mirage, Calif., on Monday, nearly two weeks after he was admitted Aug. 15, according to a statement from Ford's office released by Mayo.

"President and Mrs. Ford and their family are grateful to the outstanding group of physicians, nurses and other medical personnel at Mayo Clinic, especially Dr. Fletcher (Buzz) Miller, for the dedication and wonderful care they provided to President and Mrs. Ford these past two weeks," says the statement, attributed to Ford's chief of staff, Penny Circle.

"The Fords also wish to thank the American people for their prayers and countless messages of good wishes," Circle said.

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Ford, 93, had stents placed in two of his coronary arteries Thursday during an angioplasty procedure. That followed implantation of a pacemaker on Aug. 21.

According to MayoClinic.com, coronary angioplasty opens narrowed coronary arteries, reducing chest pain and helping prevent heart attack and stroke. Usually, angioplasty is performed through an artery in the groin, and a small hollow tube called a catheter is threaded to the affected artery, where a small balloon is inflated to reopen the artery.

Patients are typically able to return to work or normal activities within a week after an angioplasty, according to Mayo, meaning Ford should be up and about soon.

Ford became the nation's oldest living former president after the death of Ronald Reagan in 2004.

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