A Des Moines man whose recent 47-hour operation for a congenital defect in the arteries set a world record, was listed in stable condition.

James Boydston, 24, underwent surgery at the Veterans Administration Hospital and physicians and relatives describe his recovery as a "miracle."

Boydston's physician, Dr. Dennis McDonnell, said his patient had a congenital defect in the arteries, which was discovered in late May at Broadlawn's Medical Center in Des Moines.

When Boydston was transferred to Iowa City, he was told that without the lengthy surgery he would be blind in four months and probably die of a stroke. He was also warned that he had at least a 10 percent chance of dying on the operation table. McDonnell said the surgery started at 7 a.m. on June 15 with physicians anticipating it to last 14 hours. However, complications developed because each time one artery was repaired, another would burst. The operation was completed at 6 a.m. June 17.

Boydston was unconscious for a week. About seven days later, he was able to move the toes of his left foot and wink at relatives who were standing nearby.

The surgery is considered the longest ever performed. The previous record was 31 hours, set in 1972 in San Diego, Calif.