Weeks after undergoing a surgical procedure to treat his heart failure at the Mayo Clinic in Florida with high hopes of making a “full recovery,’ prominent Southern Baptist preacher Voddie Baucham Jr. has suffered a setback and is now set to undergo coronary bypass surgery Saturday, The Christian Post has learned.
Baucham, who currently serves as dean of theology at African Christian University in Zambia and a board member of Founders Ministries, was set to conduct a series of interviews, including one with CP, in the coming days to promote his new book, Fault Lines: The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism's Looming Catastrophe, set for release next Tuesday.
All interviews, at least for the next week, have been canceled, a spokesperson for Baucham told CP Friday.
“While preparing to embark on a two-week book tour for the national launch of Fault Lines, doctors at the Mayo Clinic this week discovered another blockage in Voddie’s heart. It was determined that he must have another procedure this weekend to deal with the blockage. Please pray for Voddie and his doctors as he undergoes this new procedure. We expect to have the next update on his condition early next week,” the spokesperson said.
Coronary bypass surgery, according to the Mayo Clinic, redirects blood around a section of a blocked or partially blocked artery in the heart. The procedure involves taking a healthy blood vessel from the leg, arm or chest and connecting it below and above the blocked arteries in the heart. This creates a new pathway and blood flow to the heart muscle improves.
While coronary bypass surgery doesn't cure the heart disease that caused the blockages, such as atherosclerosis or coronary artery disease, it can ease symptoms, such as chest pain and shortness of breath. For some people, this procedure can improve heart function and reduce the risk of dying of heart disease.
In an update just over a week ago, Baucham, who's also a former college football player, announced that he was slowly recuperating after having a “very successful” heart surgery and would no longer need to have a heart transplant.
“The good news is, I am no longer on that path that looks like a path to ultimately a heart transplant,” Baucham revealed in the update on his condition on March 24. “I am a month out now from my surgery and things are going well.”
A series of weather delays associated with a devastating winter storm in February complicated Baucham’s quest for treatment as he traveled from Zambia to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.
In announcing his heart failure in February, Baucham said he felt unwell at the end of a preaching tour last winter in Zambia before realizing he had heart trouble.
“I thought I had just worked too hard (17 preaching dates in 18 days, 7 sessions the last 3 days, etc.). However, as it turns out, I was experiencing heart failure!” he said.