Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson is recuperating at home following triple bypass surgery last month.—Black Press file

Kelowna-Mission MLA recovering from bypass surgery

Steve Thomson did not have a heart attack but required surgery to deal with several blockages

Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson is recovering at home after triple bypass cardiac surgery last month.

Thomson, 66, said he did not have a heart attack, but had what he thinks were angina symptoms during a vacation in Mexico earlier in the month.

“It was a good tap on the shoulder,” said Thomson, who underwent surgery Jan. 17 at Kelowna General Hospital.

“You can look at this as a warning at the right time. I came home and had it dealt with.”

Thomson said while he was in Mexico he started to get pains in his back that did not feel right. Initially diagnosed by doctors there as back spasms, he was prescribed medicine for that. But when the pain continued, he called his doctor back in Kelowna and was advised to fly home immediately.

Thomson said when doctors here examined him they found a number of blockages that could not be dealt with by putting in stents, so bypass surgery was required.

The surgery went well and the popular three-term B.C. Liberal MLA is now recuperating at home, trying to stay on top of constituency matters as best he can.

“I’m getting out a little more now and going for appointments, but I will have to take a leave (from the legislature),” he said.

But Thomson said his constituency office is in good hands with his veteran staff.

He has been told the typical recuperation time after bypass surgery is about eight weeks depending on the individual.

The B.C. Legislature is scheduled to return Feb. 13 after the upcoming Family Day long weekend and in advance of the B.C. budget the following week.

Meanwhile, Thomson is praising the medical treatment he received at KGH, the same hospital he was born in.

“It’s the best,” he said.

Thomson remembers joking during the ground-breaking for the cardiac care unit at KGH a few years ago that other than being born there, he had never spent a night in KGH.

“Well, I have now,” he said.

First elected in 2009, Thomson served in several ministries, including agriculture and forests, lands and natural resource operations during the B.C. Liberals years in power.

He was also briefly speaker of the B.C. Legislature last summer prior to the B.C. Liberals being defeated in a vote of non-confidence by the NDP with the support of the B.C. Green Party.

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