Kelowna Coun. Charlie Hodge is expected to be released from hospital Tuesday. —Image: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Popular Kelowna city councillor recovering in KGH, says wife

Charlie Hodge is conscious, off the respirator and due to be released Tuesday after days in ICU

Kelowna Coun. Charlie Hodge has more lives than several cats put together, says his wife.

Teresa Hodge said Monday her husband is conscious once again, off the respirator he was hooked up to and is expected to be moved out of the intensive care unit at Kelowna General Hospital and released.

“It’s a miracle,” said Teresa. “We don’t know what happened, why it happened or if it will happen again, but he pulled through. It was looking pretty serious there for a while.”

She said she was surprised when she returned to Charlie’s room to find him off the respirator, sitting up in bed and talking after several days of watching as he lay unconscious hooked up to an array of tubes.

On the weekend, she said doctors had ruled out blood clots, the flu and even pneumonia. But the situation was not looking good.

Hodge, 63, was admitted to hospital Jan. 2 with highly elevated levels of carbon dioxide in his blood.

He had gone to see his doctor because he was not feeling well after he and his wife had hosted an open house Dec. 30 at their home.

RELATED: Kelowna city councillor back in hospital

Teresa said Charlie had to be sedated while a tube was placed down his throat help him breathe and capture the carbon dioxide in his system.

Charlie suffers from emphysema and his oxygen tank has become a constant companion. In recent years, he has also undergone oral surgeries that included the removal and replacement of part of his jaw with bone from his leg.

Teresa said when her husband entered KGH last week, his CO2 level was 150 when it should have been around 40.

His condition, at one point, was described as “critical but stable” and he was placed in the intensive care unit.

When news of his hospitalization broke, many flocked to his Facebook page to express their support and wish him well.

Teresa said she appreciated that and it showed how popular her husband is in the community.

A former alderman during his days in Parksville on Vancouver Island, Hodge—who was born and raised in Kelowna—was first elected to city council his hometown in 2008 but failed to win re-election in 2011. He made a political comeback in 2014 and was re-elected in October’s civic election.

As for his latest hospitalization, Teresa said his recovery was remarkable given the seriousness of his condition just a few days ago.

“I think when he gets out (of hospital) he’ll have one hell of a tale to tell Capital News readers,” said Teresa.

Hodge is a long-time columnist for the Capital News.

Teresa said despite the pessimism of his doctors, she always believed Charlie would pull through.

“We have come through so much together,” she said. “I just knew this wasn’t it. I had to rally for him.”

At Monday’s city council meeting, Mayor Colin Basran read a statement sent to him by Hodge indicating the city councillor’s health outlook had taken a turn for the better.

“Teresa and I are thankful for everyone’s prayers and kind thoughts and I am looking forward to returning to council as soon as possible,” said Hodge’s statement.

Basran said he was glad to hear Hodge was on the mend and indicated he might be back at the council table within two weeks.

Coun. Mohini Singh said she was glad to hear Hodge was doing better as his presence on council is missed.

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