Waterville Mayor Jay Coelho is considering resigning from office following a week-long stay in an intensive care unit for a serious heart issue, from which he said he “should have died.”
Doctors removed two blood clots from the left arteries of Coelho’s heart last week at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, the Morning Sentinel reported.
“My prognosis isn’t good. I have a section of heart that isn’t moving. It’s just dead heart muscle,” Coelho wrote in a Monday afternoon email.
Doctors operated on the mayor for more than four hours, and Coelho spent the following week recovering in the intensive care unit.
Coelho said he kept secret several heart attacks over the past year. He said the heart condition is due to genetics, which makes a heart transplant impossible, the newspaper reported.
“I may not have much quantity left in the life but it will be full of quality,” Coelho said.
Coelho revealed his health issues in an email to the city manager, City Council chair and a Morning Sentinel reporter, informing them that he is considering resigning from his post.
“I have young children, whose lives will be affected, I have people who depend on me in order to pay their bills,” he wrote. “I have not made a decision yet, however, I am leaning toward resigning and the city should be given ample opportunity to know what may come down the line.”
The next three weeks will be important to his full recovery, he said. Though he feels as though his “mental capacity is in full swing,” Coelho thanked the city manager and council chair for what they have accomplished together in his brief tenure.
Coelho was elected mayor of the city in November following a two-year stint as a city councilor. During his time in public office, he has pushed for maintaining a stable tax rate, supporting the local fire department in obtaining a transport ambulance service and advocating for the funding of after-school care programs, the newspaper reported.