Pope leaves hospital
Take it easy, doctors tell him
October 15, 1996
Web posted at: 2:10 p.m. EDT (1810 GMT)
ROME (CNN) - Pope John Paul II was released from the hospital
Tuesday, a week after having surgery to remove his inflamed
appendix. The 76-year-old leader of the Roman Catholic Church
left his 10th floor suite at Rome's Gemelli Hospital and, as
seen live on CNN, appeared in the main lobby on his way to a
car waiting to take him back to the Vatican.
Onlookers, including many hospital patients, cheered and
applauded as John Paul left.
The pope, wearing a red cape over his white robes, was
accompanied to his car by Francesco Crucitti, the surgeon who
led the operating team. He carried a cane as he entered the
lobby but walked without it as he left the building.
Earlier, Crucitti removed the pope's 10 stitches and gave him
a quick medical check, pronouncing him in good shape.
Doctors have told the pope to rest as much as possible as he
continues his convalescence at the Vatican, But he seemed
set on continuing to be the visible pope he always has been.
The pontiff's next official public appearance is scheduled
for Sunday, when he is due to read his prayer and address
from the window of his apartment overlooking St. Peter's
The Vatican has not excluded the possibility that the pope
will make a brief appearance at the window on Wednesday, when
he marks the 18th anniversary of his 1978 election as the
first non-Italian pope in 455 years.
Before leaving the hospital, John Paul said goodbye to the
rest of the 10th floor patients, including children in the
One of them, a 10-year-old Peruvian boy named Ramon Carusi,
had sent the pope a drawing and get-well poem. "I'm sure you
will get well, when I am big I will come and help you, and
anyway don't think dying is bad because you will be as free
as a bird," he wrote.
"I'm getting out of here today, but you too will get out
soon," the pope told the children.
He entered the hospital October 6 and underwent an
appendectomy two days later.
The pope's doctors had prescribed the operation to put an end
to recurring bouts of fever, which they blamed on an
Rome Bureau Chief Brent Sadler and Reuters contributed to this report.
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