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Less than two months after receiving a heart transplant, Paris City Manager John Godwin is ready to return to work.
He still has a series of medical appointments on his calendar, but sent word that doctors have OK’d his return. Godwin said he will be at City Hall in Paris in mid-morning on Monday.
“I will be back in the office beginning tomorrow. I have three more sessions of cardiac therapy remaining, so will be late getting to the office tomorrow and two more days,” Godwin told eParisExtra.
“I have clinic every other Tuesday for a couple more months, then it goes to once per month (so I will miss this week’s special council meeting). Clinic includes blood tests, x-rays, a nurse visit, a cardiologist visit, EKG and a biopsy on the new heart,” he added.
“I am glad to have John back, as long as his doctor has cleared him to come back,” District 6 City Councilwoman Cleonne Drake said Sunday.
“I will continue to pray for his strength and future health continuing to improve. We will work to make his transition back to full time the best we can,” she said.
“We are very glad to have John return to work after such a serious operation with a relatively short recuperation,” said Dr. Richard Grossnickle, who represents District 4. “Hope he can work back up to full speed without overly taxing his physical well being.”
Gene Anderson, the city’s longtime finance director, was appointed interim city manager on June 17 and is expected to continue for an undetermined time in that capacity alongside Godwin.
In Godwin’s absence, Anderson has already presented to the city council a budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The council has scheduled its first budget workshop on Tuesday.
Godwin, 48, received a Pacemaker earlier this year because of an irregular heart and had an episode on June 14 that landed him in intensive care at the Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He was No. 1 on a national list to receive a new heart, which became available late on July 1.
Godwin has been recovering at the family residence in the Dallas suburb of Rowlett and undergoing rehab at Southwestern Medical Center.
He has maintained a home in Rowlett since his days as assistant city manager there more than a dozen years ago. After becoming town manager of the Collin County community of Fairview, he continued to make the half-hour commute from Rowlett.
Since getting the job of Paris city manager last May, he also had a house in Paris.
Normally, recovery from a heart transplant takes three to five months or longer, but Paris Fire Chief Larry Wright, a longtime friend dating back to his time as fire chief of Rowlett, passed along an optimistic report last week.
“He’s doing very well and is getting better every day,” Wright said of Godwin.
Even while awaiting his new heart, Godwin reported feeling well enough to follow what was going on in Paris even while confined to his hospital room. City officials told him to concentrate on his recovery.
By Charles Richards, eParisExtra