TV's Charlie Rose Says He's a Lucky Man After Surviving Health Scare

Charlie Rose says he's a lucky man.

The host of PBS's "The Charlie Rose Show" was traveling in Syria in late March when he unexpectedly developed heart trouble that required surgery in Paris and a monthlong hospital stay.

He's still recuperating, and grateful that things aren't worse.

"You're talking to someone who's very, very lucky. It could have gone the other way," Rose told The Daily Dispatch of Henderson, N.C., his hometown, for a story published Thursday.

The 64-year-old said his doctors in the United States were aware of a weakness in his heart, but didn't expect trouble to crop up so soon. It did just after he boarded a plane from Damascus to Paris on March 24.

"It just deteriorated faster than we thought," Rose said by telephone from his home in New York City, where he returned in late April.

Doctors in Paris confirmed that he was having trouble with his mitral valve, which connects the upper left chamber with the heart's main pumping chamber. If the valve leaks or narrows, surgery may be need to repair or replace it.

Rose said he's spending his time reading, walking, visiting with friends and dining out, but hopes to return to work some time next month.

In a posting earlier this month on his show's Web site, Rose said he looks forward to "all the years of interesting guests and good conversations we have ahead of us."