OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Risser hard at work following successful surgery

08/23/1999

CORVALLIS - Oregon State University President Paul G. Risser spent last week hard at work in his office following the successful amputation of his left arm a week ago Friday.

Risser, who is right-handed, left Oregon Health Sciences University two days after the surgery and was back at work well ahead of the schedule predicted by his doctors. Some of Risser's co-workers returned to campus Monday morning surprised to find him in his office and even more surprised to see that he had sent e-mail messages Sunday to the many people who had wished him luck with the surgery.

"I take it as a personal challenge to beat the doctor's estimates," Risser said. "I've had plenty of practice in recovery."

Risser opted to have the arm removed several inches below the shoulder after more than 30 years of repeated surgeries and radiation treatments to eradicate a recurring and persistent sarcoma, a malignant tumor that originates in the tissue. Risser said there is no evidence that the tumor had spread beyond his arm and his prognosis is good.

"I'm healthier now than at any time in the last 30 years," Risser said.

Risser said his spirits were lifted by the many messages of support and encouragement he and wife Les received before and after the surgery.

"People have been absolutely wonderful," he said. "We really appreciate their support."