Thursday, January 14, 2010

Golden Girls' Rue McClanahan Suffers Stroke After Triple Bypass Surgery

Golden Girls' star Rue McClanahan has suffered a paralyzing stroke while recovering from triple bypass heart surgery on Nov. 4 in NYC.

Morrow Wilson, the actresses husband of 12 years, tells the National Enquirer the harrowing story.

"Shortly after she had her triple bypass, Rue suffered a stroke. She was walking with a nurse down the hall of the hospital (where she'd had the operation) when she suddenly collapsed. Rue had been in rehabilitation and had been doing very, very well. She was recovering in leaps and bounds. Then she dropped to the floor. Doctors told me that her stroke affected the area of the brain where the motor and verbal centers meet. Rue was paralyzed on the ride side of her body and could not speak. After the stroke, doctors performed this procedure where they put this 'snake' up the carotid artery into the blood vessel of the brain. The point of this was to squirt some dissolver into the blood clot."

According to Morrow, doctors took at least three hours to dissolve the clot (the medical term is intra-arterial thrombolysis) "but they failed."

After the surgery, he thought she wasn't going to make it, then miraculously, she began to improve.

"Her right leg began to move and, not long afterward, she was able to walk a bit. They kept her in ICU for two weeks and then put her into a rehab center. She's come out of that and is now in a nursing facility. Rue's condition has stabilized. She can understand what you are saying, but still has some trouble speaking. Her speech is slower than it once was and she hasn't completely recovered on the right side of her body. But Rue has come a long way from where she was!"

When she's released from the nursing home, he says she'll need round-the-clock at-home care.

"She's going to require a lot more physical and speech therapy to be even close to what she once was. But at least it's not like I stay awake at nights anymore thinking that Rue is going to die, like I did in the beginning."

Morrow (pictured, right), who is Rue's fourth husband, also tells the tabloid she kicked him out of their home and the marriage is over and likely heading for divorce.

Source: National Enquirer, Jan. 25, print edition.

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