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The BBC's Paul Reynolds reports
"Mr Ford should make a total recovery"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 2 August, 2000, 22:28 GMT 23:28 UK
Gerald Ford recovering after strokes
Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford was admitted to hospital a number of times
Doctors in the United States say the condition of the former president, Gerald Ford, has improved after he suffered two mild strokes at the Republican party convention in Philadelphia.

Mr Ford, 87, was admitted to Hahnemann University Hospital early on Wednesday for what was described as a sinus infection and released a short time later. Several hours later he was readmitted.

The former president is to remain in intensive care for a few days but doctors say he will make a full recovery.

Mr Ford has been appearing at the Republican convention, where he was honoured on Tuesday along with former presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush.

'Long life'

Dr Robert Schwartzman, head of the hospital's neurology department, said on Wednesday afternoon that Mr Ford had suffered a small brain stem stroke which had affected his balance and speech.

Earlier he had said there could have been another stroke a few days ago but Dr Schwartzman did not offer an exact sequence.

Only hours before entering hospital, Mr Ford had told a television interviewer than he could not be healthier and looked forward to living longer. He also fielded a variety of political questions from callers.

Gerald Ford became president in 1974 on the resignation of Richard Nixon. He was seen as a steady hand on the tiller at a time of crisis but lost the presidency to Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Meanwhile, thousands of Republicans are preparing for the final stages of the convention, during which they will formally endorse the governor of Texas, George W Bush, as their candidate in the presidential elections in November.

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