INTRODUCTION: Pope John Paul the Second left Rome's Gemelli Hospital on Friday (14 August) three months after the attempt on his life and nine days after his last operation.
SCU ZOOM OUT TO SV Pope talking to hospital staff.
CU Crucifix TILT DOWN TO Pope making speech into microphone.
SV Pope being greeted by crowds greeted by crowds as he leaves hospital. (2 SHOTS)
GV Pope in car with police motorcycle escort.
GV Crowd outside Vatican can Pope waving from window. (4 SHOTS)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Pope John Paul the Second left Rome's Gemelli Hospital on Friday (14 August) three months after the attempt on his life and nine days after his last operation. He walked unaided out of the hospital and said a brief prayer before leaving for the Vatican in a motorcade. The 61-year-old Pope waved to hundreds of cheering well-wishers outside the hospital.
SYNOPSIS: He shook hands with dozens of doctors and nurses before leaving. He was rushed to the hospital on 13 May when he was shot in St. Peter's Square by a Turkish extremist Mehmet Ali Agca who is now serving a life sentence. The Pope will now begin six weeks of convalescence starting in the Vatican and then in his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo near Rome. Before leaving, the Pope broadcast a message to patients over the hospital's internal communications system. He thanked people all over the world who had prayed for him. He told patients that God was close to them in their suffering. The Pope's doctors said that he has fully recovered from his injuries.
The Pope was first released from hospital early in June only three weeks after emergency surgery to repair the damage done by the bullet which ripped through his lower abdomen. But he went back to hospital on 20 June for treatment of a rival infection on the lung and for another operation.
After waving to the crowd the Pontiff was driven in a heavily guarded motorcade to the Vatican. Once there he asked immediately to go to St. Peter's Basilica where he prayed at the tombs of three of his predecessors. "I thought there might be one more tomb", he said, referring to the assassination attempt. Afterwards, he returned to his private apartments and waved from his window to hundreds of tourists in the square below.