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Dingell, with pacemaker, released from hospital

David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — Former Rep. John Dingell was released Sunday from a seven-day hospital stay in which doctors installed a pacemaker.

Dingell, 89, was released from Henry Ford Hospital wearing a sling around one arm, according to a Facebook post from his wife, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, and a Twitter post from John Dingell.

“Finally escaped from the hospital. @RepDebDingell drove the getaway car. Thankful for all the kind words and wishes,” he wrote.

His wife thanked doctors and others.

“He has been sprung! On our way home,” Debbie Dingell wrote on Twitter. “Many, many thanks to every single person who helped us through this latest adventure. The doctors, nurses, technicians, people who cleaned his room, prepared his food, the prayers, good wishes and wind beneath our wings that got us through. I love my husband; we have been blessed.

“Some work ahead but he remains at my side for wisdom and strength. This is a journey but we aren’t alone and I hope what I am learning helps me be an effective advocate for those that are not as lucky as we are and even those that are, that need help in a system that has some major challenges.”

Dingell on Thursday had a pacemaker installed and was “doing OK,” his wife said Thursday.

On Wednesday, John Dingell had an angiogram, or X-ray of his heart’s blood flow. Even though the 89-year-old former congressman has had several heart issues, he didn’t have a major heart attack as first feared, Debbie Dingell said last week. He was hospitalized last Monday.

“The good news is he did not have a major silent heart attack,” which doctors were concerned he may have had, she said Wednesday.

Debbie Dingell said the doctor told him “he is lucky” because he’s in the “top 1 percent to 3 percent of men his age.”

John Dingell took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon to give his own whimsical diagnosis: “It wasn’t a heart attack, but doctors are recommending I do all I can to try to forget the end of that Lions game. Here for a few more days.”

In March 2014, he underwent surgery at Henry Ford Hospital to correct the source of an abnormal heart rhythm. Dingell’s office then said he developed atrial fibrillation and had the procedure to correct it.

Dingell has had other health problems. On Dec. 31, he was released from George Washington University Hospital after an 18-day stay following a broken hip. In September 2014, he was admitted to Henry Ford Hospital for an infection. He was released after four days.

At the end of last year, Dingell retired after 59 years in the House, where he cast more than 25,000 votes, the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history.