Tuesday, November 4, 2003

Gov. Patton returns to work, says he's 'fine'

The Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Gov. Paul Patton was back at work Monday after undergoing a heart catheterization over the weekend and having two stents implanted to keep an artery open.

Patton was back in his office at the Capitol for morning meetings before heading to Hopkinsville for a grand opening ceremony at Toyoda Gosei, spokeswoman Chris Kellogg said. The governor was back at the Capitol Monday afternoon, where he posed to take a picture with a group of Ukrainian social studies teachers.

"I feel fine," Patton told reporters following the picture.

Patton, 66, had the medical procedure done Saturday, and was released in time to attend the Arkansas-Kentucky football game that night. Doctors have not restricted his activities and he said he was back to his normal schedule.

Patton had called a doctor after exercising Saturday morning. His heart rate had remained elevated for about three hours, but he had no chest pain, according to University of Kentucky Hospital.

"They were doing the examination and (the examiner) said, 'we've got a blockage or two up there. We may as well put a stent in while we're here.' I said, 'suits you, suits me,"' Patton said.

Patton said he was awake for the procedure.

Patton, a Democrat, is barred by term limits from seeking a third term in Tuesday's election. He has been battered by his admission that he had an extramarital affair.

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