Letter: Greg Mortenson hospitalization caused cancellation

An unexpected hospitalization from the inflammation of the lining of his heart caused author Greg Mortenson to cancel planned visits in Columbus on Thursday, Mortenson wrote in a letter to the Columbus Public Library. "Today, I was supposed to join your community to meet with students, teachers and the public in a series of talks and events. I had been looking forward to this for weeks, and also eager to meet many of the students who had sent me inspiring letters, and also excited to meet with soldiers from Fort Benning, who I have had the honor to communicate with recently, and have profound admiration and respect for," he wrote.

"Unfortunately, at the last minute, I was hospitalized in our local hospital with viral cardititis (inflammation of the lining of the heart) with perhaps something I had picked up on my recent trip to Afghanistan, which gives me an oxygen saturation around eighty-five percent on room air (for most people it's around 99 percent). The physicians told me it would take two to eight weeks to heal and additional tests are being done.

"A few people expressed concern over the explanation of the cancellation of my event due to 'unforeseen' circumstances, so I want to make sure that you are appraised of the exact circumstances. I am sorry for any inconvenience I may have caused, especially with your children in anticipation of the event. I have two children myself, and I know how devastating it is when something they are looking forward to does not happen, so I especially apologize to them.

"We will make up the event as soon as possible, and look forward to seeing you in the near future. ..." Thanks for your understanding, and may God's blessings of peace be with you.

Greg Mortenson