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VIRGINIA: Bishop Peter Lee released hospital, awaiting additional test results

By Mary Frances Schjonberg

The Rt. Rev. Peter Lee  

[Episcopal News Service]  The Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee, 12th Episcopal Bishop of Virginia, was released from St. Mary's Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, shortly after 10 a.m. November 8 after being hospitalized for 24 hours.

Lee, 68, was admitted about 9 a.m. November 7 after exhibiting symptoms of a mild stroke while voting with his wife, Kristy.

Following a battery of tests, including MRI, EEG, and CT scans and a carotid artery test, there has been no conclusive diagnosis, according to a statement from diocesan secretary Peter Getlein.

"However, Bishop Lee says that the doctors are recording the incident as a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) though he explains that his symptoms were not fully characteristic of TIA," Getlein said.

"I spoke with him this morning. He sounds great and says he feels fine," Getlein's email said. "Though he has been ordered by doctors not to drive until the results of a final test are received [on November 10], he is expected to attend a meeting of the Diocesan Executive Board [on November 9] with the Standing Committee, regional deans and presidents in northern Virginia. He will be driven by his clerk, Mr. Will Packard."

On November 7, after experiencing "some mild disorientation" that concerned them both, Kristy Lee drove her husband to the emergency room, Getlein said.

On January 27, 2006, Lee told the 211th annual Diocesan Council that he planned to retire by 2010 and called for the election of a coadjutor. His successor is due to be elected on January 27, 2007 and consecrated on May 26, 2007 at Washington National Cathedral.

Getlein said Lee's health has been good since he recovered from triple bypass heart surgery in January 2005.

The Diocese of Virginia comprises about 90,000 Episcopalians worshipping in 195 congregations. The diocesan profile says the diocese has planted 16 congregations in the last ten years, and has 450 clergy, six schools, six diocesan homes, two conference centers and a budget of nearly $4.3 million dollars.