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Pope spends calm night, breathes on own after tracheotomy

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope John Paul II spent a calm night and was breathing on his own after recovering from a successful tracheotomy to relieve acute breathing problems, the Vatican said.

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the pope had experienced "notable relief" after doctors performed the 30-minute surgery to insert a tube into the throat to assist breathing late Feb. 24.

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