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Lura Lynn Ryan 'very grave,' ex-gov. asks for emergency release 

LurLynn Ryan speaks Sun-Times Columnist Michael Sneed after learning about ruling keep former Gov. George Ryan prison. Mrs. Ryan was

Lura Lynn Ryan speaks to Sun-Times Columnist Michael Sneed after learning about the ruling to keep former Gov. George Ryan in prison. Mrs. Ryan was sent to intensive care Wednesday. | Jean Lachat~Sun-Times

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Updated: January 5, 2012 6:35PM

The wife of former Gov. George Ryan was admitted Wednesday to the intensive-care unit of a hospital in Kankakee, and her family has been asked to come to her bedside, according to Ryan’s lawyers.

The lawyers filed an emergency request Wednesday with a federal appeals court seeking to have Ryan released from prison so he can be with her.

Former Gov. Jim Thompson, a longtime family friend and Ryan attorney, said the lawyers also have put in an emergency request with the prison camp in Terre Haute, Ind., where Ryan is being held, seeking his temporary release so he can be at his wife’s bedside.

“Her condition is very grave,” Thompson said.

Ryan’s lawyers said in their court filing that Lura Lynn Ryan has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment in an effort to extend her life long enough “so she can be with her husband to say goodbye.

“She is in severe pain and has been treated with morphine,” they wrote. “.She has, at most, weeks to live.”

Thompson said Lura Lynn Ryan was hospitalized Wednesday after developing a life-threatening condition called sepsis that can be a complication of the chemotherapy that she’s undergone after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

“She’s a desperate person,” Thompson said. “She wanted to see her husband.”

In late December, George Ryan lost a bid to be freed from prison early to be withn his ailing wife.

Ryan’s lawyers had challenged his 2006 conviction, saying a U.S. Supreme

Court decision narrowed the scope of a law used to convict Ryan. A federal judge disagreed, saying Ryan’s conviction should stand and refusing to allow his release on bail.

Ryan’s attorneys filed an appeal last week with the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

They filed the emergency request with that appeals court on Wednesday to have Ryan released, Thompson said.

A Bureau of Prisons spokesman could not be reached immediately.

A family member who answered the phone at Ryan’s house Wednesday evening had no comment.

The former governor was sentenced in 2006 to serve six and a half years in prison after a jury in Chicago convicted him of federal charges including racketeering and fraud.

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