FIRST MINISTER HEALTH CRISIS: WE CAN REBUILD HIM; Surgeons vow that Dewar will come back even better than ever Sam offers op support.DONALD DEWAR For the Canadian politician, see Donald Dewar (Canadian politician).
Donald Campbell Dewar (August 21, 1937 – October 11, 2000) was the first First Minister of Scotland from 1999 until his death in 2000. is to undergo a life-saving heart operation, it emerged yesterday.
The surgery will force the 62-year-old First Minister out of politics for more than three months.
Doctors broke the news to Dewar in hospital yesterday morning after learning the results of the battery of tests he'd undergone on Tuesday.
They confirmed his fears that he needs major surgery.
He'll go into hospital within the next few weeks for the op to replace a faulty heart valve.
Defiant Dewar later left the cardiac unit of Glasgow Royal Infirmary The Glasgow Royal Infirmary (GRI) is a large teaching hospital, operated since 1947 by NHS Scotland, situated on the north-eastern edge of the city centre of Glasgow, Scotland at . declaring: "I'm feeling extremely well and am in good form. I'll be going back to work tomorrow.'
MSPs at the Parliament burst into applause when Sir David Steel This article is about the British politican. For his father, the Very Rev Dr David Steel, see David Steel (Church of Scotland minister).
David Martin Scott Steel, Baron Steel of Aikwood told them Mr Dewar would be taking today's First Minister's Questions First Minister's Questions is the name given to the weekly questioning of the leaders of devolved administrations in the United Kingdom. First Minister's Questions works in a similar way to Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons. .
But the revelation of his absence raised a question mark over Dewar's long-term position as First Minister.
Cabinet ministers have been locked in crisis talks to thrash out how they'll run the country in his absence.
Scottish Lib Dem LIB DEM Liberal Democrat(s) (UK political party) leader Jim Wallace - the Deputy First Minister in the coalition administration - will chair Cabinet meetings but the real power will fall to Enterprise Minister Henry McLeish Henry McLeish (b. June 15 1948, Methil, Fife, Scotland) is a Scottish politician. He served as the second First Minister of Scotland from 2000 to November 8 2001, following the sudden death of Donald Dewar. .
A Labour insider insisted: "If people see this as their opportunity for the main chance they are very wrong.
"If any of them overstep the mark he'll come down on them like a tonne of bricks."
Dewar worked from home yesterday but will return to Parliament today. He faces a wait of several weeks on the NHS NHS
National Health Service
NHS (in Britain) National Health Service waiting list before his operation.
The surgery to replace a leaking aortic valve aortic valve
The valve between the left ventricle of the heart and the ascending aorta, consisting of three semilunar cusps.
Aortic valve will take between two and three hours.
Dewar will have to stay in hospital for 10 days.
He will then need three months to recover before being fit enough to return to work.
His official spokesman David Whitton David Whitton is a Scottish Labour Party politician, and Member of the Scottish Parliament for Strathkelvin and Bearsden.
David Whitton was a political advisor to the first minister he was embroiled in several controversies (see Dewar defends spin doctor Whitton) said that Dewar was relaxed about the surgery.
He said: "He knew there was a problem that had to be addressed but not how bad it was until he had the tests.
"He has had a chat about what he is likely to undergo. He knows he has to have treatment and is grateful for the treatment he has received up to now.
"He is sanguine about the operation."
Dewar has been under sustained attack over the last year for failing to get a grip of the political agenda.
But his consultant made it clear the stress hasn't played a part in his condition.
Dr Kerry-Jane Hogg admitted the op was "major surgery". But she added: "It's a routine operation that is done every day."
Experts last night predicted Dewar will bounce back fitter and healthier than ever. He faces the same major heart surgery that Hollywood star The Hollywood Star was an idiosyncratic gossip tabloid published on an erratic schedule in Hollywood, California by William Kern, who wrote much of the magazine under the pseudonym "Bill Dakota. Arnold Schwarzenegger Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (German pronunciation (IPA): [ˈaɐ̯nɔlt ˈaloɪ̯s ˈʃvaɐ̯ʦənˌʔɛɡɐ] successfully had three years ago.
Arsenal's Nigerian striker Nwankwo Kanu has also had the procedure.
Cardiac nurse advisor for the British Heart Foundation The British Heart Foundation is a charity organisation in the United Kingdom that funds research, education, care and awareness campaigns aimed to prevent heart diseases in humans. Kathy Marshall said: "There is absolutely no reason why a patient shouldn't be as good as new after this type of surgery.
"It often gives patients a new lease of life."
She added: "The most common cause of valve failure is simply wear and tear."
London heart surgeon Professor Ken Taylor said: "No heart surgery is risk-free, but for someone who is relatively young and fit, who has not had problems for very long, we would classify them as low risk."
The operation, to be performed by Dr Ken Davidson at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, has a 95 per cent success rate.
Andrew Rankin, consultant cardiologist at the Royal Infirmary, said: " Mr Dewar is in safe hands."
Surgeons will saw through Mr Dewar's breast bone, stop his heart and replace the damaged valve.
About 3,000 patients have the procedure every year in the UK.
Dewar's illness, called aortic regurgitation aortic regurgitation
Incompetence of the aortic valve of the heart, resulting in backward flow of blood. Also called aortic insufficiency. , is caused by the failure of the aortic valve to close shut after blood has passed through it allowing blood to leak back and forcing the heart to work harder.
Dewar's valve will probably be replaced with a mechanical replica, although carbon fibre or pig valves can also be used.
Medical staff at Glasgow Royal said the First Minister was in top form during his visit.
One said: "He was great fun and he certainly cheered us all up."
MSPs last night sent best wishes to the First Minister.
And Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "Along with every one else I wish him a full and fast recovery.".
COLLEAGUE Sam Galbraith last night offered Donald Dewar some timely reassurance as he nervously waits to go under knife.
The education minister knows better than most the trepidation Donald will be feeling.
Ten years ago Galbraith was on his deathbed and facing major surgery for a heart and lung transplant lung transplant Surgery Transplant of a lung allograft into a Pt with failing lungs; 90 US centers perform LT; 35 centers perform ≥ 10/yr Mean wait time 18 months Indications COPD–eg, emphysema due to α1 .
And after that traumatic experience he's convinced his pal will come through the ordeal emotionally stronger and fighting fit.
He said: "Compared to the operation I had Donald's surgery is small beer. Plus he is generally in good health which means he'll find it easier to bounce back.
"Before my operation I was three or four days from death. I couldn't talk, I wasn't eating and I didn't even have the strength to turn over in bed. And now look at me.
"Ok, so I might be bald. But I manage to run around after three kids and fulfil my duties as an MP, MSP (1) (Management Service Provider or Managed Service Provider) An organization that manages a customer's computer systems and networks which are either located on the customer's premises or at a third-party datacenter. and minister.
"Donald also has a laid back attitude which will help him deal with the prospect of surgery and help his recovery.
"He will feel fitter and have extra energy.
"God help the rest of us who have trouble keeping up with his workrate as it is."