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Helms moved to rehab center after heart surgery


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Jesse Helms has been transferred from a hospital to a rehabilitation center and is making slow progress in his recovery from recent open heart surgery, his staff said Tuesday.

Helms was transferred Monday morning from Inova Fairfax Hospital to a regional rehabilitation center, said Jimmy Broughton, his chief of staff. "He continues to progress -- albeit slowly -- from open heart surgery," Broughton said.

He did not disclose the name of the Virginia rehabilitation center.

How long Helms, who is 80, will be at the rehabilitation center was not known. Broughton said that when Helms is released, he plans to travel home to North Carolina.

The five-term Republican senator underwent surgery April 25 in what Broughton at that time described as "redo mitral valve replacement and tricuspid annuloplasty." The tricuspid is the valve controlling blood flow from the right atrium of the heart to the right ventricle.

Helms is the ranking Republican on the Committee on Foreign Relations. He had already announced he would not seek re-election this year.




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