Larkin on mend from surgery

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POST FALLS - Post Falls Mayor Clay Larkin underwent surgery to implant a heart pacemaker late Wednesday and is expected to return to his duties after a short recuperation, according to the city.

"It took a little while to figure out what the problem was and my heartwas out of rhythm," Larkin said on Thursday, moments before he was expected to be released from Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. "I'm doing fine and can't be too active for a little while. Toward the end of next week I may go into the office for an hour or two, but I can do a lot of my work at home on the computer.

"I appreciate everyone's concerns. Thanks to a lot of prayers and good wishes, the medical community and cardiologists, I'm on the mend."

Kit Hoffer, city spokeswoman, said city staff look forward to Larkin's return.

"We are extremely happy that Mayor Larkin's surgery was successful and he is in good spirits," she said. "We are looking forward to having him back at City Hall very soon."

Larkin, 76, has been sidelined since early December.

"Larkin was being treated for a lingering cough and laryngitis when he was diagnosed with an abnormally slow heart rate," a city press release states.

Larkin is serving his third term as mayor. He was appointed to the seat in 2000 for a year when former Mayor Gus Johnson became a county commissioner.

Before becoming mayor, Larkin served five years on the city council. Larkin represents the city on the Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization and is involved with the Association of Idaho Cities.

He had a second triple bypass surgery seven years ago.

Council President Ron Jacobson and other council members have been filling in for Larkin at meetings and community events this month.

"It is good to know that Clay has had a thorough evaluation," Jacobson said, referring to a series of tests. "The past few weeks has been interesting for me as I have had to an opportunity to fill in for the mayor.

"The only negative in doing so is the fact that Clay has been unable to perform the duties he enjoys so much. I look forward to his recovery and return and will continue to assist him in any way that I can."

Larkin has requested no flowers, but those wishing to send a card or email can do so at: Mayor Clay Larkin, City of Post Falls, 408 N. Spokane St., Post Falls, ID 83854 or via email atclarkin@postfallsidaho.org.

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