Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Fletcher's Condition Continues to Improve

Press Release Date:  Friday, February 24, 2006  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker
Troy Body

Governor expected to remain at St. Joseph East through the weekend

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher’s medical condition continues to improve, and he is expected to remain in the hospital through the weekend, his doctors said today.

“As I said earlier this week, my recovery is still on track,” said Governor Fletcher. “I am feeling better with each passing day, and I look forward to continuing that improvement over the weekend.

“I want to again thank the citizens of the Commonwealth for their support and prayers through these past two weeks,” the Governor said. “Your prayers are sincerely appreciated.”

Dr. Joseph Fine directed the placement of a nasal-jejunal feeding tube on Thursday to provide nourishment while at the same time allowing the Governor’s pancreas to rest. This is not a surgical procedure.

“Governor Fletcher continues to show signs of improvement, is resting well and has gone several days now without a fever,” said Dr. Fine. “By using a jejunal feeding tube to bypass the stomach and duodenum, Governor Fletcher’s pancreas will be allowed to rest and continue to heal.”

A jejunal feeding tube is a temporary method used to help build a patient's nutritional status. The jejunal tube remains in place and provides continuous, around-the-clock nutritional supplementation while his pancreas rests. With this additional nutrition, the Governor has already seen improvement.

“The feeding tube is a measure being used to assist in his recovery by allowing his pancreas to rest,” said Dr. Fine. “I have seen continuous improvement in the Governor’s condition since Wednesday, and I expect this tube will facilitate his recovery.”

Although hospitalized, Governor Fletcher continues to work to move Kentucky forward, meeting with members of his staff in person and via conference calls on a regular basis. He continues to make important decisions – such as appointments to the State Board of Education, yesterday calling each of the new members personally. He is also reviewing legislative policy issues. In fact on Thursday, Governor Fletcher signed HB 275 into law from his hospital room.