Texas - The 78-year-old lawyer wounded by Vice President
Dick Cheney in a hunting accident suffered a mild heart attack Tuesday after a shotgun pellet in his chest traveled to his heart, hospital officials said.
Harry Whittington was immediately moved back to the intensive care unit and will be watched for a week to make sure more of the metal pellets do not reach other vital organs. He was reported in stable condition.
Whittington suffered a "silent heart attack" — obstructed blood flow, but without the classic heart-attack symptoms of pain and pressure, according to doctors at Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial.
The doctors said they decided to treat the situation conservatively and leave the pellet alone rather than operate to remove it. They said they are highly optimistic Whittington will recover and live a healthy life with the pellet in him.
he has a piece of metal in his heart? maybe now whittington will become iron man!
but seriously, i hope he recovers. a lot of unanswered questions remain about the extent of his injuries.
update: barbinMD has a diary on dkos that totally shreds katharine armstrong's statements to the press. apparently armstrong has contradicted herself quite a bit, and according to one version of her story, she wasn't even an eyewitness to the shooting. we might never know what actually happened, but we do know not to put much faith in the details armstrong has offered up.
also, cheney has finally decided to speak publicly about this story (only 4 days after the shooting), in a prerecorded, exclusive "press conference" tonight at 6pm. and the company that'll bring it to you? fox news.
update: although the actual interview won't air for a few more hours, fox has a news story up with a couple brief quotes. while i imagine the interview will be a whitewash to at least some extent, to his credit, cheney admits fault in the incident:
Earlier this week, White House spokesman Scott McClellan implied that Whittington did not follow hunting protocol. On Wednesday, the vice president made clear that he took all the blame.
"It was not Harry's fault," he said. "You cannot blame anybody else."¶