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

Press Release Date:  Friday, March 10, 2006  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker
Troy Body

Gubernatorial powers transferred back to Governor Fletcher today at 4:54 p.m.

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Fletcher is resting comfortably and doing well today, his doctor told the news media during a briefing at St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington.

Dr. Dale Absher reported that this morning, he completed the procedure that was started Thursday evening to remove a blood clot in the Governor’s subclavian vein and innominate vein region. Doctors used the same method – a suction catheter– that was used last night to complete the clot removal.

Governor Fletcher was admitted to St. Joseph Hospital Thursday afternoon following discovery of the blood clot.

“The medication we gave him last night thrombolyzed the clot very well,” said Dr. Absher. “At this point, we took out over 95 percent of the clot. There is just a small focus remaining. That small focus is very adherent to the wall, but there is no risk of its moving into the lungs.”

Dr. Absher said that all the catheters placed in the Governor’s arm last night have been removed, as has the PICC line, which was previously being used to administer IV antibiotics. Doctors will give the Governor some blood thinners through another IV, then look to thin his blood just “a little bit” on Coumadin therapy, Dr. Absher said.

The Governor will remain in the hospital for a “couple of days,” Dr. Absher said, and will remain on Coumadin, a blood thinner, for an additional three to six months.

First Lady Glenna Fletcher said she and the Governor are very encouraged and excited that things have worked out well, and that Governor Fletcher is anxious to watch this afternoon’s University of Kentucky SEC Championship game.

“I think a lot of prayers went up across the state,” the First Lady said at this morning’s briefing. “I’m just very thankful for all the thoughts, concerns and prayers from everyone all across the state and across the nation.”

Lt. Governor Steve Pence visited the Governor this morning, and told reporters that the Governor was alert and looked well.

“Today, I visited Governor Fletcher at the hospital, and his spirits are high,” the Lt. Governor said. “He continues to improve and is on the road to recovery. My thoughts and prayers are with the Governor and First Lady during this difficult time.”

According to General Counsel Jim Deckard, gubernatorial powers were transferred back to Governor Fletcher at 4:54 p.m. today.