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Hawaii island mayor Mitch Roth recovering from a heart attack

  • COURTESY PHOTO
                                Hawaii island Mayor Mitch Roth.

    COURTESY PHOTO

    Hawaii island Mayor Mitch Roth.

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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