Oliver mayor returns from heart surgery

Oliver Mayor Pat Hampson is back at his seat in council chambers after recovering from open heart surgery.

Oliver Mayor Pat Hampson is back at his seat in council chambers after recovering from open heart surgery.

Hampson had been living with a leaking heart valve for many years, but was not diagnosed until he collapsed from heat exhaustion at a fire in 1986. Hampson is a former West Vancouver firefighter and then a fire chief in Squamish for 17 years.

“Interestingly enough, I was able to jog and maintain an active life, but nature took its course and finally the time came when ignoring the leak was not an option,” said Hampson in his blog at www.mayorpathampson.com.

Just after Christmas he received a call that he was on the waiting list for surgery at Vancouver General Hospital on Jan. 17. Hampson said after spending considerable time at local hospitals getting tests or being treated and then spending a week at VGH, “the standard of care in B.C. is excellent.” Although, he did say there is a problem with overcrowding.

Hampson said the speed of his recovery will have everything to do with the care he received and his physical condition prior to surgery.

“However, even a slight incline becomes a challenge after heart surgery and you measure your recovery in small and humble steps … so if you see me leaning against something on the street I am taking a rest not being lazy,” said Hampson.

The mayor said recovery time is estimated at six months and the specialist advised Hampson that he is very happy with the progress already made. Hampson said the surgery will not have much effect on his upcoming campaign for re-election come November.