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Update from Bishop Stokes.

As many of you are aware, early Friday morning I experienced persistent chest discomfort that concerned me enough to go to the emergency room. By noon, it was pretty clear I was having an NSTEMI heart attack. Though not massive, this was a significant cardiac event. The emergency room personnel took all the necessary steps to address this. It was determined that I did not require immediate surgical intervention but should undergo a heart catheterization process to determine the extent of damage done to my heart. The hospital I initially went to is not licensed for full cardiac care and so I was transferred late Friday night to a hospital in New Jersey specializing in cardiac care. Except for reasons immediate and urgent necessity, the procedures I require are not performed on weekends so I was admitted to a room and treated with medications to keep my situation stable.

This morning I underwent the heart catheterization process. This revealed I had three blockages. Today the team addressed the worst blockage, which was more than 90 percent and the one that caused the heart attack. They instructed me to stay home and restricted me to limited activities for three weeks, which will include my return to undergo another heart catheterization procedure to clear the other two blockages. All went well. The good news is the doctors report that the damage to my heart was very minimal. I am expected to be discharged tomorrow.

Susan has been by my side the whole time. I am truly blessed. We are deeply grateful to all those who attended to us in both hospitals. We offer our deepest thanks to our family, friends, and to all in the Diocese of New Jersey and beyond who have shown their love for us through prayer and expressions of concern. Particular thanks to our incredible diocesan staff who have addressed the challenges created by this. God bless and keep you and thank you for your continuing prayers and good wishes. They continue to be most welcome and deeply appreciated.

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