UPDATE: Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
Message from Senator Ralph Okerlund.
Last Wednesday, I experienced a heart failure caused by elevated levels of potassium in my blood. My wife and I are grateful for the kind thoughts and prayers of so many of you over the last several days and for the blessing of capable emergency responders.
Today, I’m glad to report my levels are evenly balanced and my heart is working fine. My wife and I will be leaving the hospital this afternoon to recuperate at home. Doctors say after a bit of rest, I will be able to return to normal levels of activity.
I want to express a heart-felt thanks to my colleagues in the legislature, emergency responders and capable staff at the hospital – and to my wife, Cindy, who has been so thoughtful and steady by my side through the treatment, as she always is. We’re headed home now, but we’ll see you again at our legislative interim meetings in May, if not before.
To see what a fine line exists between being here and being on the other side of the veil is amazing. It makes you think about priorities. Being able to help in the legislature is important, but life, family, and being with your grandchildren are what really matter. I hope to remember the proper balance – and I hope we can all remember that balance as we continue to serve.
Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Today, Senator Okerlund left a meeting due to a medical situation. Emergency responders acted quickly and he was taken to the hospital.
This afternoon, Senator Okerlund’s Family issued the following statement:
Ralph is alert, stable and doing well. He is in good spirits and already joking about coming back and finishing his bills. He said, “I’d go back right now if they’d let me.”
That probably won’t happen. Hospital personnel need to finish some tests and we don’t expect he will return to the Capitol today or tomorrow.
We are deeply, deeply grateful for the concern and prayers offered on Ralph’s behalf. We are also very thankful for the capable reaction and care of his colleagues in the legislature and emergency response personnel.
For the next few days, we ask that media calls and legislative requests be routed through the senate office.
Thank you for your love and concern for our family.