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Schuller, Now in Good Condition, Appears in Public

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A week after undergoing emergency brain surgery, the Rev. Robert H. Schuller felt hearty enough to don a Los Angeles Rams cap and step onto a hospital balcony to pose for photographers.

The brief appearance and a move to a private room marked the first time Schuller had left his intensive-care-unit room since surgeons relieved a blood clot from the left side his skull last Monday, spokesman Michael Nason said from Amsterdam. Doctors upgraded his condition to good.

Schuller, pastor of Garden Grove’s Crystal Cathedral, sat up to eat his meals Monday, and although he still showed signs of post-operative fatigue, his coloring and mood showed marked improvement, Nason said.

Nason said the Rams hat was a get-well gift from Rams owner Georgia Frontiere, who joins other notable well-wishers such as President Bush and his wife, Barbara, Sen. Al Gore (D-Tenn.), comedian Bob Hope, the Rev. Billy Graham and the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale.

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The hat was intended to disguise Schuller’s “Marine’s haircut,” Nason said. Schuller’s head was shaved for the three-hour surgery, and Nason said the preacher joked about sending an enlistment message to retired U.S. Gen. Norman H. Schwarzkopf.

Schuller developed the blood clot after bumping his head while getting into a car. He suffered the injury in Amsterdam while en route to Rome and Moscow.

The family and followers of Schuller got a scare Thursday when his health took a turn for worse as doctors discovered swelling and blood residue between the brain and skull. Medication overcame the complication, and since Friday Schuller has grown steadily stronger, Nason said.

Nason said Schuller, who turns 65 next Monday, might be returning stateside sometime this week. He could not say when the minister might make an appearance before his 10,000-member congregation.

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“I’m sure that will be his decision,” Nason said. “As soon as he is up to it, he’ll let us know. Whether it is an appearance, or some sort of message, it will be up to him.”


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