August 21, 2006

Former President Ford fitted with pacemaker

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former President Gerald Ford, 93,
was fitted with a pacemaker to "enhance his heart's
performance," at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota on Monday, his
spokeswoman said.

"Former President Gerald R. Ford completed an evaluation
and series of tests resulting in the implantation of a
pacemaker to enhance his heart's performance," spokeswoman
Penny Circle said in a written statement.

"The procedure this afternoon went smoothly and without
incident," Circle said. "President Ford is resting comfortably
with his wife and children and is expected to continue his
recuperation at the Mayo Clinic for the next few days."

Ford, the nation's oldest living ex-president, was admitted
to the clinic last week.

Ford's hospitalization was the second since July, when he
was taken to a Colorado Hospital after suffering shortness of

The former president, who took office in 1974 after Richard
Nixon resigned amid the Watergate scandal, also spent about 10
days at a California hospital in January, where he was treated
for pneumonia.

Ford suffered a mild stroke in 2000, and was hospitalized
briefly in 2003 after suffering dizzy spells while playing golf
in the desert heat near his home in Palm Springs, California.