I'm writing this from the patients/visitors library at the St. Mary's Hospital Campus of the Mayo Clinic. My father-in-law went onto the heart/lung machine about twenty minutes ago and surgery has begun. The whole family is waiting downstairs, though we expect news to come in dribs and drabs over the next four hours. I'm told that the surgery takes four hours to complete.
It all should go well. There were no complications in pre-op, and everybody here is in good (albeit nervous) spirits.
The trip to Rochester was also uneventful. We ran into some slowups on the I-80 through the south side of Chicago, but we avoided most of the traffic by heading over to I-39. We left Ann Arbor at around 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time, and got in to Rochester at roughly 7 p.m. Central time. Eleven hours on the road. Yikes!
We'll be staying overnight before possibly starting back on Saturday.
I'll try to send more news as I get it, but there are a lot of people wanting to use the computer here, and not many computers to accommodate them. But for now, expect good news.
Update: 3:40 pm CDT - The news is indeed good. My father-in-law is now in post-op. Nothing went wrong and he is under fine medical supervision while he recovers. We are all very relieved.