WASHINGTON -- Police officer Thomas Delahanty, wounded in the assassination attempt on President Reagan, was 'in good spirits' Friday recovering from an emergency operation to remove a bullet from his neck.
Carolyn Mason, a spokeswomanfor the Washington Hospital Center, where Delahanty was taken shortly after Monday's shooting, said the 45-year-old policeman was 'awake, talking, eating and in good spirits.'
The hospital listed his condition as 'good,' but Ms. Mason said he is expected to remain at the hospital for another week.
Delahanty spent a quiet night Thursday in the hospital's intensive care unit after a volunteer 11-member medical team removed a bullet lodged in his neck.
The 2 -hour operation began just hours after the FBI determined the six bullets fired at Reagan may have been 'Devastator' bullets that explode on impact.
Doctors had planned to leave the bullet in Delahanty's neck because it wasn't near any vital organs, but they decided to remove the slug after it was disclosed the bullet may be the explosive kind.
'The surgery was somewhat intricate, complicated and difficult,' Dr. Howard Champion, chief of the hospital's shock trauma unit, told a news conference.
'There were no extra precautions in the operating room, but the bullet was handled with extra care,' said Champion.
The slug was immediately turned over to waiting city policemen and delivered to the FBI for analysis.
Delahanty, a 17-year police veteran, was one of four persons wounded in the shooting outside the Washington Hilton Hotel. The others were Reagan, White House press secretary Jim Brady and Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy.