Medford Mayor Gary Wheeler is recovering from a heart attack Saturday night that required surgery to insert two stents to open a major artery.
"One of my major arteries was almost occluded," Wheeler said. "They told me this one is a 'widow maker'."
The 68-year-old mayor said his wife and he had just finished dinner Saturday night at home when he felt pressure in his chest area, chalking it up to indigestion. Then, the pressure and tension radiated to his back, and he called his doctor, who told him to go to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center.
Doctors discovered that one of his heart arteries was almost completely closed. Wheeler said he has good blood pressure and cholesterol levels, though his triglyceride levels were on the high side.
Wheeler underwent a two-and-one-half hour operation to insert two stents through the femoral artery in his leg.
He was released from the hospital Tuesday, under orders to change his diet.
"I'm doing really well," Wheeler said. "A lot of it is thanks to Rogue Regional."
Wheeler, who participated in the Pear Blossom Festival last Saturday, said he plans to take it easy for the rest of the week, turning over his duties to Councilor Al Densmore.
By next week, when the city begins discussions of its upcoming budget, Wheeler said he hopes to resume his mayoral duties but follow a lighter schedule.
— Damian Mann