Artificial heart recipientgoes back on ventilator
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Artificial heart recipient Robert Tools is back on a ventilator and unable to move part of his body after he suffered a stroke, setting back months of progress and apparently dashing his wish to spend Christmas at home.
Tools, 59, had the stroke Sunday at Jewish Hospital, said Dr. Laman Gray, one of the surgeons who implanted the world's first self-contained artificial heart July 2.
Dr. Robert Dowling, Tools' other surgeon, characterized the patient's condition as serious Wednesday.
"It's just going to take a long time, maybe several weeks, for us to see a recovery," Gray said. "I will stress to you that everybody remains optimistic that he will recover, and that he will come out of this."
Gray said he believed the stroke was caused by a blood clot, but doctors haven't pinpointed its origin.
Initially, Tools couldn't move his right arm or leg, Gray said. By Tuesday, he could move his legs but had difficulty swallowing, the doctor said. He is able to open his eyes.
Massachusetts mandies of West Nile virus
BOSTON -- An elderly man died after contracting West Nile virus, the first confirmed human case of the mosquito-borne virus in Massachusetts, state health officials said Wednesday. The virus also claimed New Jersey's second victim.
The unidentified 70-year-old from Woburn, a Boston suburb, died in mid-October after developing symptoms the previous month, officials said.
A second case has been confirmed in an 89-year-old man from Acushnet, about 50 miles south of Boston. He was hospitalized in stable condition.
New Jersey health officials say the 45-year-old man was likely bitten by an infected mosquito in late summer. He died Oct. 4 after being hospitalized since August.
The first case in the state this year -- a 72-year-old Bergenfield woman -- was detected in July.
In many cases, the virus causes no symptoms, while in others, it causes only mild, flu-like symptoms. Occasionally, it causes severe disease with brain inflammation, especially in the elderly and people with compromised immune systems.
Chechen warlordgoes on trial in Russia
MAKHACHKALA, Russia -- Chechen separatist warlord Salman Raduyev went on trial today in the southern Russian republic of Dagestan on charges of terrorism in connection with an armed attack that killed 78 people.
Raduyev, the most prominent Chechen rebel to be arrested and tried so far, also faces charges of banditry, hostage-taking, organization of murders and illegal armed formations.
Russia's Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov said on the eve of the trial that it was "a demonstration of the triumph of justice over terrorism."
"We will show the whole world that terrorism can be fought not only with weapons, but also through the force of justice," he said.
Raduyev's best-known attack was on the southern town of Kizlyar in 1996, when he and his comrades took hundreds of hostages at a local hospital and then used some of them as human shields to escape back into Chechnya.
The militants were blocked by Russian troops near the Chechen border where an eight-day gun battle raged before Raduyev successfully slipped back into Chechnya. The indictment said 78 Russian soldiers, police officers and civilians were killed during the raid.
Sniper victim dies
FORT WORTH, Texas -- A man shot during a 1966 shooting spree at the University of Texas has died from complications from the gunshot wound to his only good kidney, officials said.
David H. Gunby, 58, was pronounced dead Monday at a Fort Worth hospital after deciding to stop dialysis treatment.
"We have had a couple of cases where a person died years later after an injury, but I don't think we've had a case that was this long, dated back this far," said Linda Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Tarrant County medical examiner.
Gunby, then a 23-year-old engineering student, was one of 31 people shot by Charles Whitman during a shooting spree from the top of the clock tower at the University of Texas at Austin in August 1966. Sixteen people died after being shot by Whitman, who was killed by police.
During surgery, doctors found bullet fragments lodged in Gunby's only functioning kidney, forcing him to endure repeated kidney problems, a transplant and dialysis three times a week for 27 years.