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Judge: John Edwards Has Life-Threatening Heart Condition, Will Undergo Surgery


GREENSBORO, N.C. (The Blaze/AP) -- Ex-presidential candidate John Edwards has a life-threatening heart condition that will require surgery next month, his doctor told a judge presiding over Edwards' upcoming court case over alleged campaign violations.

A cardiologist for the 58-year-old ex-North Carolina Democratic senator wrote two letters about his condition to Judge Catherine Eagles who talked about them Friday during a hearing to consider whether the trial would go on later this month. She delayed it until at least March 26.

Edwards walked into the courtroom in Greensboro without assistance and appeared healthy. The judge requested that he be there.

The judge did not give any more details about what sort of surgery or what illness Edwards may have. The doctor also wrote that Edwards should avoid driving and travel, including to the court proceedings.

North Carolina station WRAL-TV reported Edwards will undergo the procedure in February and that the doctor said the trial would "reduce the chance for success."

The judge said Friday Edwards has had three "episodes," KABC-TV reported.

"The public has an interest in a speedy trial, and this case has already been continued twice," Eagles said. "Ordinarily, I would try to manage something like this. But clearly there are some limitations on Mr. Edwards due to real and serious health issues."

Edwards' defense team first requested a trial delay in December citing a "medical issue," but did not publicly disclose what it was.

Prosecutors had said they were ready to try Edwards on six felony and misdemeanor counts related to nearly $1 million from wealthy donors used to help hide his pregnant mistress during his failed 2008 While House run. Edwards has maintained the money was a gift.

This post has been updated since it was first published.

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