Kelowna Coun. Charlie Hodge, back in his seat at City Hall Monday six weeks after major jaw surgery.—Image: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Kelowna councillor back at city hall six weeks after major surgery

Charlie Hodge had part of his jaw replaced after an infection stemming from impacted teeth

Kelowna city Coun. Charlie Hodge was back in his chair in council chambers at City Hall Monday, six weeks after major surgery to replace part of his jaw.

Hodge, who had three inches of bone removed from the tibia in his right leg and used to replace a section of jawbone removed earlier this year in another surgery, said he was determined to meet his self-imposed timeline of returning to council by the beginning of December.

“(The doctors) said pace yourself. They didn’t say whose pace,” Hodge said with a smile Monday afternoon.

Saying he feels lucky to be alive, Hodge explained the piece of bone taken from his leg is now bolted to a second titanium plate to form a reconstructed section of his jaw. The procedure was part of an 8 1/2-hour surgery Oct. 25 at Kelowna General Hospital.

The first plate—installed in the earlier surgery—was removed.

Hodge said while the pain in his jaw is starting to subside, the pain in his leg—where the bone graft was removed—is still very painful. He walks with limp and the aid of a cane. He said he currently only has feeling in part of his right leg.

Despite that, he told his council colleagues he considers himself to be the “luckiest man in the world” and publicly thanked his doctors and KGH staff for his care, his wife Teresa for her support and the public for their prayers and good wishes when he was in hospital.

“I got cards and texts from people I don’t even know,” said Hodge. “It’s very humbling.”

Related story: Hodge: Memo from paradise, aka KGH

Hodge, who writes a popular weekly column in the Capital News and as been writing for the paper since the late 1970s, said shortly after his surgery in October, he reached the point where he felt he could not go on. The pain, and the surgeries, were just too much.

“I woke up one night and said to my myself, ‘okay, I quit.’ I didn’t think I could go on,” he said.

But a few nights later, his fighting spirit returned.

“I woke up that night and I said ‘no, damn it.”

While his voice is still affected by the tracheotomy he underwent while in hospital, Hodge spoke up several times during Monday’s council meeting. He kept up with what was going on at city hall while in hospital and had council agenda packages sent to him at KGH while he was recovering so he could stay abreast of what was gong on.

He was determined to be back at city hall in time to participate in council’s annual budget deliberations, scheduled for Dec. 14.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.



awaters@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Fire season takes mental toll on Okanagan residents

CMHA suggests some mental health coping mechanisms

Syrian refugee to share his story during Kelowna’s pride parade

Anas Qartoumeh, a gay Syrian refugee, will be this year’s Grand Marshal for the Pride March.

Crews are working to contain the wildfire north of Okanagan Connector

The Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire, which was sparked by lightning Aug. 9, has… Continue reading

UPDATE: Okanagan air quality index poor due to smoke

Index for entire Okanagan Valley rated at 10+, or very high risk, because of wildfire smoke

A look at B.C. wildfire smoke from space

NASA provides a timelapse of smoke covering B.C. from space

Bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy killing 11

Five more people are injured and in serious condition

Man plows truck into Houses of Parliament in London

UK police treat Parliament crash as terrorism, man arrested

B.C. Wildfires 2018: Province calls for federal aid

More fires have burned in B.C. already this year than did in all of 2017

Kayak in Indian Arm waters off B.C.’s Deep Cove and feast on famous doughnuts

About a half hour drive from Vancouver, Deep Cove is a great kayaking spot for locals and tourists

Child, 4, attacked by cougar near Fernie

The BC Conservation Officer Service said it happened while the family was fishing

Penticton RCMP trying to locate a missing man

Sheridan Graham was last seen Aug. 11.

Trans Mountain pipeline protesters practise resisting police at Camp Cloud

Last week, a Supreme Court judge granted the City of Burnaby an injunction ordering protesters to remove everything from the site

Gun used in Fredericton killings is legal, man had licence

Police Chief Leanne Fitch said the long gun is commonly available for purchase, and is not a prohibited or restricted weapon

Most Read