D&C staff writer
June 28, 1975
Rod Serling apparently
suffered a heart attack Thursday during what had appeared to be
successful open heart surgery at Strong Memorial Hospital, hospital
officials said yesterday. 'He remained in very critical condition
Serling, 50, a
television script writer and creator of "The Twilight
Zone", is being kept alive by drug stimulants and a heart-lung
machine in Strong's surgical-intensive care unit, a hospital
The surgery was
performed on Serling to improve blood circulation to his heart.
said his coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart, had
been partly blocked.
The operation was intended to
bypass the blockages by grafting veins from the thighs onto the
coronary arteries, thus giving the blood an alternate route to the
Serling had appeared to be doing
well after two veins had been grafted and he was taken off the
heart-lung machine, the hospital spokesman said.
But as the surgeons were finishing
the operation, Serling "apparently suffered a heart
attack," the spokesman said.
Another vein was then grafted onto
a coronary artery, but Serling needed the assistance of the
heart-lung machine, the spokesman said.
machine partly assumes the functions of the heart and lungs,
allowing the heart to rest until it can take over again.
Serling, who is visiting professor
and lecturer of creative writing at Ithaca College, had suffered a
heart attack about two months ago and had been troubled by recurring
He was transferred June 13 form
Tompkins County Hospital in Ithaca to Strong for tests preceding the
surgery. Serling, a native of Syracuse who grew up in Binghamton,
has been living at his family summer home near Interlaken,
overlooking Cayuga Lake.