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President's Father Has Pneumonia, Undergoes Surgery

Dec. 24, 1961 - Joseph P. Kennedy (pictured last Christmas Eve with his wife Rose), partly paralyzed by a stroke, has been stricken with pneumonia. He underwent surgery today to relieve congestion. An announcement by Pierre Salinger, White House Secretary, said: “The President’s father incurred a mild pneumonia during the past 24 hours. The doctors began at 3:45 p.m. to perform a tracheotomy to relieve the congestion in the chest and throat.” In a tracheotomy, the windpipe is opened at the level of the thyroid gland. Usually, it is not considered a dangerous operation. In Mr. Kennedy’s case, any operation can have unpredictable results.

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