Veteran newsman Lee Carle is in the intensive care unit at the Schneider Regional Medical Center. He was admitted to the hospital last week and operated on Wednesday for a blood clot in his left leg.
Sitting up in a chair Sunday afternoon, Carle spoke about his condition. First, he said, he wants to thank everyone for the "hundreds of calls and prayers I have received." He said, "I am so very grateful, and my spirits are good. That’s important."
Next, he proudly pointed out that his sitting up in a chair so soon has been called by staff, "miraculous."
"I’m sitting here, both feet on the floor, myself," he said,.
However, Carle faces a grave situation.
"I am going to lose my left leg below the knee," he said, quickly adding that he is "glad to be alive … You know," he said, " I could have died."
Reverting to his show business personality, he said with a big smile, "Well, that’s it for tap-dancing. I used to dance professionally, you know, with my wife at the old V.I. Hilton."
Carle has been broadcasting from St. Thomas for 55 years. There’s little that has escaped his notice. Unless you just moved to the island, or don’t listen to radio, Carle’s voice over the WSTA airways is as familiar as the sun rising from the east.
Though he doesn’t really want to be the subject of this news story, Carle was philosophical about his plight.
"I’m alive, and I’m lucky," he said.
His phone was ringing Sunday with well wishers. Though Carle obviously enjoys the attention and care, a nurse on duty said she had to "put the kibosh" on too many visitors, saying he needs his rest.
Carle said he is awaiting word from his doctors on when the operation will take place.
"After the operation, which will be done here, I’ll go to the states for rehab and for a prosthesis. My daughter lives on Long Island, so I’ll be near her."
As for the immediate future, the 80-year-old radio and television personality said, "after rehabilitation, when I learn to use the prostheses, I’ll be back to work."
He added with a grin, "My broadcasting career isn’t over, you know."
In fact, Carle said he may say "a few words" Monday on Addie Ottley’s WSTA morning show.