Prophet is ‘fair’ after 2nd surgery

President Ezra Taft Benson was listed in fair condition Thursday, Sept. 27, at LDS Hospital, where he underwent two operations within eight days.

Church spokesman Don LeFevre reported that President Benson sat up and talked with family members on Wednesday, Sept. 26, and was showing signs of improvement.President Benson, 91, initially underwent surgery Sept. 19, during which two subdural hematomas – collections of fluid or clots – were removed from his skull. (See Church News, Sept. 22.) A second surgery lasting 2 1/2 hours was performed Sunday, Sept. 23, to remove a blood clot from the left side of his skull.

The second surgery, which doctors called "a success," consisted of re-draining a clot on the left side of President Benson's skull through a surgically created opening made during the first surgery, hospital spokesman Tim Madden said. He said President Benson "tolerated the surgery extremely well."

The surgery on Sept. 23 began at 2:30 p.m. immediately after LDS Hospital staff, monitoring President Benson, observed symptoms of recurrence of clotting.

Though a second surgery is not unusual in the removal of hematomas, the necessity for President Benson to return to surgery Sept. 23 was surprising because his condition had been upgraded to fair the day before.

LeFevre reported that President Benson "was quite responsive" Saturday, Sept. 22. He said the Church leader sat up, visited with family members and watched part of BYU's football game on television.

LeFevre said a CT scan performed Sept. 25 did not show any recurrence of clotting. "The doctors are encouraged by that," said LeFevre.