updated 2/24/2005 8:15:29 AM ET 2005-02-24T13:15:29

Major medical problems Pope John Paul II has faced during papacy:

  • May 13, 1981: Pope shot in abdomen and hand by Turkish gunman in St. Peter’s Square and is hospitalized for three weeks.
  • June 20, 1981: Hospitalized for infection linked to shooting injuries. Undergoes operation Aug. 5 and is discharged Aug. 14.
  • July 15, 1992: Operation for benign tumor on colon. Leaves hospital July 28.
  • Nov. 11, 1993: Dislocates right shoulder in fall down steps at Vatican audience. Undergoes operation and leaves hospital after overnight stay.
  • April 29, 1994: Taken to hospital after breaking leg in a fall in his bathroom. Undergoes hip replacement surgery. Discharged May 27.
  • Dec. 25, 1995: Overcome by fever and nausea, Pope interrupts Christmas message in St. Peter’s Square and is bedridden with flu.
  • March 13, 1996: Pope cancels general audience because of what Vatican calls an intestinal ailment accompanied by fever.
  • Aug. 15, 1996: Pope cancels Mass after Vatican says he is stricken by a similar ailment.
  • Oct. 8, 1996: Pope hospitalized for operation to remove an inflamed appendix.
  • February 1997: Pope cancels general audience because of flu with fever.
  • June 15, 1999: Flu, with slight fever, keeps pope from celebrating Mass in Krakow, Poland, for 1 million people during pilgrimage. Also that year illness forces him to miss a weekly audience.
  • Sept. 24, 2003: Pope skips weekly general audience due to an intestinal problem.
  • Jan. 31, 2005: Vatican announces pope has mild case of flu, forcing cancellation of appearances.
  • Feb. 1, 2005: Pope urgently hospitalized after having breathing problems from upper respiratory problems, including larynx spasms.
  • Feb. 24, 2005: Pope re-hospitalized after flu and breathing symptoms return.

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