The Daily Spectrum Sept. 20, 1990
' across-the-board Benson in serious but stable condition, neurosurgeon says SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Mormon Mormon Church President Ezra Taft Benson, described by his surgeon as "a tough guy for 91," was in serious but stable condition today after removal of two blood clots on his brain. Dr. Bruce F. Sorensen, the neurosurgeon, neurosurgeon, could not say if more clotting would occur or whether Benson suffered any brain damage. "The ultimate outcome in a Officials foil POINT OF THE MOUNTAIN, Utah (AP) Corrections officials officials say two Utah State Prison inmates, one serving a term for murder, were caught apparently apparently attempting to escape through the fences. Spokesman Dave Franchina said the incident occurred at the Oquirrh Facility at Point of the Mountain at 7:43 p.m. Wednesday. ' 91-year-old 91-year-old 91-year-old 91-year-old 91-year-old person we never know, but he's doing very well," Sorensen said following the 2-hour 2-hour 2-hour operation at IDS Hospital Wednesday. Sorensen said he removed clots on each side of Benson's brain that were 1M to 2 centimeters thick and covered "a significant portion of his head," compressing the brain. The clot on the right side was easily drained through a burr hole drilled in the skull, but removal of inmates' escape attempt He said one was caught before the first fence and the second was between the two fences. The two inmates were Tracy Eugene Smith, 23, San Bernardino, Bernardino, Calif., and Michael Post, 22, West Valley City, Franchina said. Franchina did not know which prisoner made it over the first fence and did not know whether there were any injuries from the the left-side left-side left-side clot required a craniotomy craniotomy (removal of a piece of the cranium), Sorensen said. "That is all out and he's been put back together. He came through the surgery very well. For a man of 91, he's very strong," he said. Benson will be hospitalized for 7-8 7-8 7-8 days if things go well, he said. Drains in each side of his head to remove saline solution used to irrigate irrigate the areas of the clots will be razor wire. Smith entered the prison in 1988 and was serving a sentence for first-degree first-degree first-degree murder in Beaver County. He was not slated for a parole hearing for 20 years. Post was serving 0-to-5 0-to-5 0-to-5 0-to-5 0-to-5 and l-to-15-year l-to-15-year l-to-15-year l-to-15-year l-to-15-year l-to-15-year l-to-15-year sentences from Salt Lake County for possession of a controlled substance, theft and attempted escape. removed in two days and he will be moved to a private room, Sorensen said. He said the clots had "an acute component," meaning they had formed within the past week. Family Family members knew of no falls or injuries that might have caused them. "Why they are there, we don't know," said Sorensen, who added that his chief concern was that new clots could accumulate. He said the ailment could have a significant impact on Benson's mental capacity, but that cannot immediately be determined. Benson had experienced difficulty difficulty in swallowing and was plagued by severe headaches in the days prior to his admission to the hospital on Tuesday, when his swallowing became more labored, the surgeon said. A brain scan Tuesday night showed the clots, which Sorensen said eventually could have been fatal. When Benson was hospitalized hospitalized for four days in June with a bacterial infection, a brain scan showed no clots. The surgery was the same as that performed three times in two years on Benson's predecessor, Spencer W. Kimball, who died Nov. 5, 1985, at age 90, Sorensen also treated Kimball. Dr. Bruce F. Sorensen Benson, agriculture secretary during the administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower, assumed the presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Latter-day Latter-day Saints as the faith's senior apostle.