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Varner Okay, But Mulling Surgery
Jan 27, 2004, 9:31 AM

No, Nick Varner did not have a heart attack in Louisville during the Derby City Open, and no, the 55-year-old Kentuckian is not on his death bed.

So says Varner’s brother, Steve. According to Steve Varner, Nick is scheduled to undergo surgery on Thursday, Jan. 29, at Caritas Surgical Center in Louisville. Varner was diagnosed with a pair of blood clots that have affected both legs, and, according to Steve, efforts to dissolve the clots and free up the affected arteries through angioplasty and blood thinners have not produced positive results.

“Right now, Nick is schedule to have surgery, during which doctors want to use synthetic materials to bypass the clotted areas,” said Steve Varner from Owensboro. “He’s also considering going to a doctor in Cincinnati who wants to take another try at clearing the arteries without surgery. Surgery would put Nick out of action for eight weeks, plus there are obvious risks involved.”

According to Steve, Nick experienced numbness in his legs during a match last Tuesday evening in Louisville. After failing to reach his hotel room without assitance, paramedics were called in. First indications were that Varner was dehydrated, but when it became apparent that his condition was deteriorating, he was rushed to a local hospital for tests.
“He’s fine right now,” said Steve. “His life isn’t in danger. We just need to get this taken care of.”