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Hawaii mayor leaves hospital 11 days after heart attack

January 22, 2021 GMT

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — Hawaii island’s new mayor has been released from a hospital 11 days after suffering a heart attack.

Mayor Mitch Roth was released Wednesday from Hilo Medical Center, where he was admitted shortly after experiencing chest pain at his home on Jan. 9, Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.

Doctors treating the 56-year-old implanted a stent shortly after he was admitted. Then on Tuesday, Roth received an implantable cardioverter defibrillator.

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“That’s a little bit painful,” Roth said. “I’m glad to be out. I feel good, other than the pain from the surgery for having this pacemaker put in.”

Roth was not infected with the coronavirus, spokesman Cyrus Johnasen previously said.

The former Hawaii County prosecutor successfully ran as an independent candidate and began his first term in December, replacing longtime Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim.

Roth watched the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris while hospitalized, he said.

“I actually woke up early, sat up in a chair and watched it. I thought it was done very well,” he said.

“Because of all the violence in D.C., they had to do it the way they did, and I thought that was kind of unfortunate,” Roth said. “This is something our country needs to overcome, and we need to start bringing people back together.”

Hawaii County Managing Director Lee Lord will continue serving as the Big Island’s acting mayor while Roth recovers.

Doctors will check on Roth’s condition next week as he keeps abreast of county business from home.

“I’ll probably be doing a lot of Zoom calls and stuff from the house for at least another week,” Roth said. “I’ve got to wait for them to tell me what I can do, how much I can do and when I can do it.”

Roth said there are rules concerning any county employee absent a week or more for medical reasons, and that he is no exception.

“One of the comments from my office this morning is that I need to get a doctor’s note to come back,” Roth said.