Hawaii island Mayor Mitch Roth remains at Hilo Medical Center where he is “recovering and in good spirits” after suffering a heart attack on Saturday evening in South Kohala, his office said today.
His staff had said Sunday morning that Roth, 56, had been hospitalized with chest pains. A second evaluation is underway as doctors continue to monitor his condition, the mayor’s office said this afternoon in a release.
Roth was transported to North Hawaii Community Hospital and later to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was treated, and a stent implanted.
“My wife Noriko and I are humbled by the outpouring of support and aloha we have received from our island community,” Roth said in a release today. “I would like to mahalo all of the staff here at Hilo Medical Center who have shown me excellent care, and I am confident that I will be back to full health very soon. In the meantime, I know my team will continue to work tirelessly to serve our community in my stead.”
The mayor’s office said it will provide regular updates on Roth’s health. A stent is a small tube that is used to keep blocked passageways open. It may mitigate chest pain and possibly treat a heart attack in progress.
“Mayor Roth’s recovery is anticipated to take a few days. His cabinet is built, but is awaiting confirmation for directors on the 20th. They are already working,” Cyrus Johnasen, a spokesman for Roth, said earlier.
Hawaii County Managing Director Lee Lord is acting mayor while Roth is recovering.
Roth on Sunday said he had “excellent treatment from the moment I began to feel discomfort, and would especially like to thank our Hawaii County first responders for their adept response and care. My wife Noriko and I look forward to a speedy recovery and are confident that Lee will do a phenomenal job as acting mayor.”
Roth assumed office on Dec. 7 after garnering over 58% of the votes against political newcomer Ikaika Marzo in the Nov. 3 election.
A former Hawaii island prosecutor, Roth succeeded Harry Kim, who served as Hawaii island mayor for 12 years, but failed to advance following the Aug. 8 primary.
While serving as a Hawaii County prosecutor, Roth was best known for his role in obtaining convictions in the notorious “Peter Boy” Kema case 20 years after the 6-year-old’s death at the hands of his parents.
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