Sen. Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson) issued the following statement on Monday:
“Last Thursday, I underwent successful open heart surgery at Mission Hospital in Asheville. I’m incredibly grateful to the talented group of doctors and nurses here who have taken such good care of me. For months and months leading up to this, I endured unusually bad acid reflux – a condition I thought was brought on by spending too much time in Raleigh. Doctors at UNC Health Care were able to determine it was caused by blockages in my arteries.
“I’m only 54 years old and while I could stand to lose a few pounds, I’m in pretty good shape. Hopefully my story will encourage people not to ignore warning signs from their bodies and to seek the advice of medical professionals.
“I greatly appreciate the thoughts and prayers of family and friends. Fortunately – for all of us – the legislature doesn’t meet again until January and I can use the break to regain my strength.
“My only request is that you please respect my family's privacy over the next couple of months. During this time of recovery, the very talented and committed staff in my legislative and district offices will be working overtime to make sure we continue to deliver the high level of constituent service the citizens of Western North Carolina expect and deserve.
“In a few months I’ll be back, looking like George Clooney, ready to give everyone grief again. For now, I’m just looking forward to wearing clothing that opens in the front.”