Mild heart attack hospitalizes Knoxville bishop in Fla.

Mild heart attack hospitalizes Knoxville bishop in Fla.

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Bishop Richard F. Stika Bishop Richard F. Stika

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- Bishop Richard F. Stika is in a South Florida hospital following a sudden flu-like illness that brought on a diabetic crisis and mild heart attack, according to church officials.

This happened on Saturday while the bishop, who's 52, had traveled to visit a sick friend who's a retired archbishop.

Officials said Bishop Stika's "heart was thoroughly examined and found to be in great shape. He had a very good night and is stable and responding well to his treatment. He is looking forward to returning home to Knoxville."

Deacon Sean Smith said doctors expect the bishop to make a full recovery. He's expected to be hospitalized for five to seven days.

Stika was ordained as bishop in March after being appointed by the pope.

The Knoxville Catholic Diocese includes most of East Tennessee, stretching from Chattanooga to Johnson City, and consists of over 50,000 members.

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