In September 1974 (the month after leaving the Presidency and returning to California), developed
left leg enlargement, tenderness in the left calf and thigh, and episodic shortness of breath.
Was admitted to Long Beach Memorial Hospital, where he was anti-coagulated with heparin, and
where lung scans "showed evidence of pulmonary embolism in the right lung." He was
discharged on coumadin.
On October 23, he had groin pain and persistent left leg enlargement. He was re-admitted
to the hospital. A retrograde venogram showed a clot extending into the left iliac vein. On
performed a one-hour operation, clipping the vein above the clot.
The remainder of the hospital course was difficult. About six hours post-operatively, Nixon
stood up to urinate and fainted. Fearing a bleed, his anti-coagulation was stopped and reversed
(with vitamin K) and he was given three units of packed red cells. Platelets and more red cells
were given in the days to come. Nixon developed a large hematoma in the flank, and a left pleural
effusion (felt secondary to the bleed).
When discharged on November 14, he had lost 15 pounds, was depressed, and tired.
In his Sept. 8 speech granting Nixon's pardon,
cited the threat to Nixon's health as part of the justification for the pardon
Ford visited Nixon in the hospital in October