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Gerald Ford receives heart pacemaker

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ROCHESTER, Minnesota (CNN) -- Former President Gerald Ford has received a cardiac pacemaker and is in stable condition at the Mayo Clinic, where the procedure was done, a statement from his office said Monday.

Over the past few days, Ford, 93, has been evaluated and undergone a series of tests at the clinic that resulted in the implantation of the device, which is intended "to enhance his heart's performance," his office said.

"The procedure this afternoon went smoothly and without incident," the statement said. "President Ford is resting comfortably with his wife and children and is expected to continue his recuperation at the Mayo Clinic for the next several days."

The nation's 38th president was admitted to the clinic last Tuesday for "testing and evaluation."

At the time, Ford's office did not disclose details about his condition or any treatment that he may have undergone.

Ford, who has been in frail health in recent years, has been hospitalized four times since December, including late last month, when he was admitted for two days to a hospital in Vail, Colorado, after complaining of shortness of breath.

In January, he spent 11 days in a hospital near his home in Rancho Mirage, California, being treated for pneumonia. In December, he was admitted to the same hospital for unspecified tests.

Ford was hospitalized in 2003 after suffering a dizzy spell while playing golf in 96-degree heat. He also suffered a mild stroke during the 2000 Republican National Convention.

Ford is the only president to have held office without being elected by the voters to the presidency or vice presidency.

He became then-President Richard Nixon's vice president in October 1973 after Spiro Agnew resigned and pleaded no contest to bribery, conspiracy and extortion.

Ford assumed the presidency in August 1974, after the Watergate scandal forced Nixon from office. He then pardoned Nixon. Ford narrowly lost the 1976 election to Jimmy Carter.

CNN's Keith Oppenheim and Katherine Wojtecki contributed to this report.

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At 93, Gerald Ford is the oldest living former U.S. president.



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