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Bruchey has heart procedure

March 23, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Hagerstown mayoral candidate Robert E. Bruchey II was taken to a Baltimore hospital Tuesday for a heart procedure, his family said.

His wife, Susan, told The Associated Press that he had an angioplasty, a medical procedure to open narrow or blocked blood vessels of the heart.

His aunt, Jean Bruchey of Falling Waters, W.Va., said he had two stents put in a heart artery.

"He was resting comfortably," she said Tuesday night.

Robert Bruchey is scheduled to come home after a couple of days in the hospital, then will have surgery in a few weeks, she said.

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According to the American Heart Association's Web site, it's common for a stent, which is a wire mesh tube, to be used to "prop open an artery that's recently been cleared using angioplasty."

Bruchey - who lost the Republican mayoral primary, then filed last week as a write-in candidate - also had angioplasty in March 1998, while he was mayor.

His heart condition goes back to early in his life, his aunt said.

"He had a hole in his heart when he was a kid and he had open heart surgery," Jean Bruchey said. "He had a hole larger than a quarter. He was in third grade."

Reached Tuesday evening on Robert Bruchey's cell phone, Susan Bruchey refused to say anything to a Herald-Mail reporter other than that her husband is fine.

"We don't owe the newspaper anything," she said.

She said she released a statement about her husband to NBC-25 and told a reporter to watch the TV newscast to find out details.

Susan Bruchey also would not identify the Baltimore hospital at which her husband was treated.

"He's under a doctor's care in the hospital and he's recovering nicely and it shouldn't affect the election at all," Susan Bruchey told The Associated Press.

Family friend Ted Bodnar told The Herald-Mail that he spoke with Bruchey and he seemed to be doing well. Bodnar said he would not comment further on someone else's medical condition.

Richard F. Trump, who defeated Bruchey in the March 8 mayoral primary, had not heard Tuesday evening of his opponent's heart procedure until a reporter told him.

"Anytime any guy is dealing with anything this serious, you have to feel for the family and you feel for him," Trump said.

Trump and Bruchey are challenging Mayor William M. Breichner in the May 17 general election. Breichner defeated Bruchey in 2001 to win office.

Bruchey's heart procedure was the latest in a series of events in his life and his campaign in one week.

Last Wednesday, he defended a comment on his campaign Web site that mocked Trump's stuttering. But by the end of the night, the comment was removed. Bruchey said a friend told him it was "a little harsh."

Bruchey announced Thursday that he would file as a write-in candidate, which he officially did Friday.

On Saturday, a profanity-laced anonymous letter referring to Robert Bruchey's candidacy was delivered to his home. He said Monday that he turned the letter over to the Hagerstown Police Department to investigate.

Staff writer Julie E. Greene contributed to this story.

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