LOCAL : Lucille Ball Alert, Looking Well After Heart Surgery, Husband Says

From Times wire services

Lucille Ball’s “Irish eyes are smiling,” husband Gary Morton said after the comedian awakened today at 9:45 a.m., about 14 hours after surgeons finished an emergency heart operation. She was alert and looked well, he said.

Surgeons said they were optimistic that Ball will recover fully from surgery in which her aorta and aortic valve were replaced with organ tissue donated from a 27-year-old man.

Ball, 77, who reigned for decades as Lucy, the zany, rubber-mouthed queen of comedy, had her heart stopped for two hours during Tuesday’s procedure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, which kept her in the operating room for about seven hours.