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Harrison Out of the Hospital? (E! Online) George Harrison`s health remains a question mark, but media outlets are now reporting that the Quiet Beatle has quietly checked out of a New York hospital after undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. - Nov 09 8:09 PM ET

Al Musella's Comments: (This is his personal views and are not necessarily the views of the Musella Foundation!)


Posted on: 11/09/2001

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Friday November 09 08:56 PM EST "Harrison Out of the Hospital?"

Harrison Out of the Hospital?

George Harrison's health remains a question mark, but media outlets are now reporting that the Quiet Beatle has quietly checked out of a New York hospital after undergoing treatment for a brain tumor.

While Harrison's camp remained mum Friday regarding reports of a "last-chance" cancer treatment, the New York Post reported that the 58-year-old music legend left Staten Island University Hospital on Sunday. He was expected to remain in New York for several weeks while completing outpatient treatment under the care of cancer specialist Dr. Gil Lederman, the Post reported.

Lederman, director of radiation oncology for the hospital, refused to comment Friday on reports that he treated Harrison with a procedure called sterotactic radiosurgery.

But he did tell E! Online that the procedure does not require invasive surgery and is "very successful." Lederman adds that his department has been using the procedure for the past five years and now treats up to 100 patients a day from around the globe.

"It's a precise way of giving radiation treatment to specific areas," Lederman said. "It's non-invasive...and in the area we treat, it's successfully done about 90 percent of the time."

Still, Harrison's exact condition remains shrouded in mystery. The musician's publicist said Wednesday she was no longer representing him, and there was no one to answer questions or clear up reports regarding Harrison's health.

London's Daily Telegraph first reported the hospitalization Wednesday, describing Harrison as "frail and gaunt," and saying "the word around the hospital is that the procedure he is having is the last chance of saving his life."

Harrison reportedly checked into the hospital under the name George Arias, the maiden name of his wife Olivia. According to the Telegraph, Harrison first sought treatment in Switzerland and then moved to the New York hospital last week, where he was to undergo treatment from Lederman.

Harrison's wife and 23-year-old son Dhani were reportedly keeping vigil by his bedside, and former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr also paid a visit to him, the Post reported.

It was only in July that Harrison was dispelling initial rumors about a losing battle with cancer, after London's Mail on Sunday published a supposedly exclusive interview with former Beatles producer George Martin saying Harrison "knows he is going to die soon and he's accepting it perfectly happily."

Turned out, however, that the quote was fabricated. Harrison, who had been working on a new album, released a statement insisting he was "active and feeling very well." Furthermore, the guitarist-songwriter and his wife said they were "disappointed and disgusted" by the rumors.

What is known is that Harrison's health has suffered in recent years. Earlier this year he was treated at a Swiss clinic, reportedly for a brain tumor. Prior to that, he checked into the Mayo Clinic to have a cancerous lung operated on. And in 1998, he underwent radiation therapy for throat cancer, which he attributed to years of smoking.

His closest brush with death came in 1999, when a deranged fan broke into Harrison's suburban London estate and stabbed him with a knife in the chest, puncturing his lung and nearly killing him.

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