Rep. Floyd Spence, 73, Dies after Week in Coma

By Hudson, Audrey | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 17, 2001 | Go to article overview

Rep. Floyd Spence, 73, Dies after Week in Coma


Hudson, Audrey, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Byline: Audrey Hudson

Rep. Floyd D. Spence, South Carolina Republican and former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, died yesterday after remaining in a coma following brain surgery one week ago.

The 73-year-old lawmaker suffered from a host of serious illnesses, and underwent surgery Aug. 9 at St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital in Jackson, Miss., to remove a large blood clot in his brain.

Mr. Spence had been on life support to help him breathe since the surgery, and on Saturday, Mr. Spence's brother, Allan Spence, said the family would soon be faced with a life-or-death decision.

His office last night released a brief statement that Mr. Spence died at 5:40 p.m. Central time, with his wife and family by his side.

President Bush paid his condolences to Mr. Spence and his family, saying Mr. Spence will be fondly remembered for his public service career.

"Laura and I are saddened by the death of Floyd Spence. We will remember his courage and determination, as well as his support for the men and women of the armed services and his service to fellow South Carolinians," Mr. Bush said.

Mr. Spence "cared deeply about our men and women in uniform and helped secure peace through his commitment to the strength of our armed forces," said Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

"His timeless efforts on behalf of our national defense are a testimony to his enduring will to serve and to triumph in the face of adversity. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family today," South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges told the State paper in Columbia, S.C.

Mr. Spence was diagnosed in July with a facial nerve disorder called Bell's palsy. He had received a kidney transplant in May 2000. In 1988, he became the fourth American to undergo a highly experimental double lung transplant.

Mr. …

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