Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards enters hospice care, but says not a death sentence
Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards has entered hospice care, but the 94-year-old insists the move is a matter of convenience rather than impending death.
"While people assume that hospice means I’m dying, I assure everyone it’s simply a matter of good and convenient care that is less trouble for everybody," Edwards said in a statement through family spokesman and biographer Leo Honeycutt.
"I’ve made no bones that I have considered myself on borrowed time for 20 years and we each know that all this fun has to end at some point," he said. "But it won’t be anytime soon for me. In fact, I am planning my 95th birthday party for next summer and hope you’ll come.”
Edwards is Louisiana's only four-term governor. He also served a stint in federal prison for corruption.
Honeycutt said Edwards was taken by ambulance from his Gonzales home to St. Elizabeth Hospital Sunday after complaining of significant pain in his right lung.
“His blood oxygen and blood pressure were both low, and we made the decision to go to the hospital out of an abundance of caution," his wife Trina Edwards said. "His strength has been failing in recent weeks, but Edwin has always rallied back in the past and we’re praying for that again.”
Edwards underwent a series of tests including X-rays and a CAT scan of both lungs but doctors said the tests revealed nothing, Honeycutt reported.
“But since I have been in and out of hospitals in recent years with pneumonia and other respiratory problems, causing a lot of people a lot of trouble, I have decided to retain the services of qualified hospice doctors and nurses at my home," Edwards said.
He was a Navy pilot during World War II and also served in Congress before winning his first term as governor.
Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1