Archive for Tuesday, April 17, 2007

N.J. governor still critical after new surgery

April 17, 2007

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— Gov. Jon S. Corzine on Monday underwent another operation on the leg he broke in a highway crash that left him in critical condition.

The hour-long surgery at Cooper University Hospital, performed to clean out the 6-inch wound created when his left femur broke, was "uneventful," said Andrew Poag, a spokesman for the governor.

Corzine remained in critical but stable condition. He also broke 12 ribs, his collarbone and chest bone and suffered some other, more minor injuries in Thursday's accident.

Physicians also operated to clean the leg wound on Saturday and a titanium rod was inserted into his leg after the crash Thursday. On Sunday he underwent a brief procedure to remove fluid that had collected outside his left lung.

Corzine, 60, was injured when the sport utility vehicle he was riding in crashed on the Garden State Parkway just north of Atlantic City.

The SUV, which was being driven by a state trooper, was hit by another vehicle that swerved to avoid a pickup truck, sending the governor's vehicle skidding into a guard rail.

Corzine had been on his way to a meeting at his mansion in Princeton between radio show host Don Imus and the Rutgers women's basketball team. The governor apparently was not wearing his seat belt as he rode in the front passenger's seat.

Doctors said Monday they would reduce the amount of sedation and give Corzine some control over the amount of pain medication he receives.

Corzine's relatives said he recognized them and responded to visitors when they saw him Sunday.

"When you talk to him, he can recognize your voice, that's my feeling," said Joshua Corzine, 30, the eldest of Corzine's two sons. "He definitely responds when you let him know who you are."

The governor's children and his girlfriend, Sharon Elghanayan, said they were feeling positive about his condition.

"We're giving him the thumbs-up right now, so we're really feeling good about what's happening," said the governor's daughter, Jennifer Pasani.

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