John ParkerLast week, John L Parker, Jr had a major heart attack and has been in the hospital since. John Parker is best known for his novel, Once a Runner. He seemed to be in great health a month and a half ago when he spoke at Maine Running Company. He has been heavily sedated and has been in a medically induced coma for the past few days, while he was hooked up to a respirator and an external heart pump that bypasses his left ventricle to allow his heart to heal. The tandem heart has since been removed, and they have just recently begun to reduce the sedation so he will hopefully be conscious within the next couple of days.

His brother has set up a website at Caring Bridge and has been updating it multiple times per day with his status. There is also a guest book where his friends and fans can leave words of encouragement that I am sure that he will love to read once he wakes up and recovers a little.

His new book, Again to Carthage, is due to be published in 2008. A new printing of Once a Runner is also due when it’s sequel is sent to press.

You can view updates or sign his guest book at the following website:

Update: Apparently, he did not actually have a heart attack, he had an attack against his heart from some sort of virus or other. Either way, he has been in bad shape and we all hope that he recovers.

Update 2: He is recovering quickly, and will be released on Monday, October 01, from the hospital. He is still really weak and will need to take it easy while he rehabs, but it looks as though he has gotten through the worst of it.