Orion’s ‘spirits are high’ after surgery

Orion Samuelson

Orion Samuelson

Chicago radio legend Orion Samuelson is out of intensive care and recovering from heart-valve replacement surgery, his wife said Wednesday.

Samuelson, 81, veteran agriculture-business reporter for Tribune Media news/talk WGN AM 720, underwent the procedure Monday at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

“His surgery went well on Monday, he is out of ICU and looking forward to checking out of this luxury hotel (hospital) as soon as he gets a bit more strength back,” Samuelson’s wife, Gloria, wrote in an email. “The surgeon commented that Orion is further along than patients half his age. Orion's spirits are high and he is looking forward to returning to the airwaves as soon as he gets the 'go ahead.’ ”

She also had high praise for his care at University of Chicago. “The warmth, concern and attention to every need is nothing short of outstanding,” she wrote.

The Radio Hall of Famer had said he hoped to be back on WGN in time to celebrate his 55th anniversary with the station September 25. “I think I should be able to,” he quipped last week. “After all, I am Norwegian. So I should recover very quickly.”