Judge Lewis mending after surgery for torn aorta
Lewis mending after surgery for torn aorta
Huerta will fill in while he recovers
By Kathryn Garcia Caller-Times September 22, 2005
Juvenile Judge Carl Lewis is recuperating today at Corpus Christi Medical Center-Doctors Regional after undergoing open-heart surgery to correct a tear in his aorta, said juvenile court manager Lilly Fanning. "He's already sitting up, eating and talking," Fanning said. "He's doing a hundred percent better."
In Lewis' absence, former 319th District Judge Martha Huerta will oversee the caseload for County Court-at-Law No. 5, which includes all cases dealing with minor children and children in the care of Child Protective Services, Fanning said.
Huerta will preside over juvenile court cases until Lewis' return, Fanning said. It is unknown when Lewis will return, Fanning said. Huerta left the 319th district court after being defeated by Tom Greenwell in a 2002 election. Since then, Huerta has sat in for other judges and served as a magistrate court judge.
Lewis was admitted to the hospital Monday after recessing an emergency hearing to determine whether 13-year-old cancer patient Katie Wernecke would have continued contact with her parents. During the emergency hearing, Lewis began sweating, rubbing his forehead. He declared a 5minute recess from which he did not return.
Lewis signed an order late Tuesday afternoon from his hospital room that barred Katie's father Edward Wernecke from all communication with Katie and limiting contact with her mother Michele Wernecke to only supervised visits.
Lewis called the hearing after visiting Katie at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston where she is being treated for her Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymph nodes.
A tear in the aorta, the largest artery in the body, can be fatal if not treated immediately. Symptoms include a sudden tearing pain in the chest and the back between the shoulder blades.
Contact Kathryn Garcia at 886-3792 Copyright 2005, Caller.com. All Rights Reserved.