Kelowna councillor recovering at home after brush with death

Charlie Hodge says when he was admitted to hospital last week, he didn’t know if he would survive

Kelowna city councillor Charlie Hodge feels pretty good for someone who nearly died.

The 63-year-old, who spent most of the last week unconscious on a respirator in the intensive care unit at Kelowna General Hospital, was at home recovering Thursday after being released from hospital Wednesday.

And said he plans to be back at the council table next week.

“I have a job to do,” said Hodge. “I was elected to do that job.”

Hodge was sent to emergency by his lung specialist Jan. 2 after feeling well for a few days, but Hodge, who suffers from emphysema, had something to do first.

“I told him I’d go, but I wanted to go have beer first,” Hodge said. “I really didn’t know if I was going to be coming out again and I wanted one last beer.”

Hodge said when he was admitted, the level of CO2 in his body was 150, the highest the scale could go. The normal level is 40.

He had to be sedated, placed on a respirator and tubes inserted to help him breath and expel the CO2.

“The fact I survived is a miracle,” he said Thursday.

What worries him, however, is his doctors could not figure out what the problem was, what caused it, how it happened and if it will happen again.

“That’s a little unsettling,” said Hodge, who in addition to emphysema, has also spent time in hospital in recent months having part of his jaw removed and replaced after problems with his teeth.

“Short of a (lung) transplant, I’m maxed out on medications so pitter-patter, let’s get at ‘er.”

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