Huizinga returns from heart surgery

Sequim City Councilor Bill Huizinga returned home Friday, Oct. 23, from Seattle's Swedish Hospital after a heart attack Tuesday night, Oct. 20.

He's doing "extremely well" and even returned to work at Clallam County on Monday, said his wife, Donna.

"He was very fortunate; they caught it before it did any damage to the heart. He wanted to come home Thursday but the doctors wanted him to stay another day for observation."

The 69-year-old Huizinga was airlifted to Seattle's Swedish Hospital to have a stent implanted in an artery. He spent Wednesday in the intensive care unit of Swedish Hospital's Cherry Hill campus.

Back at work on Monday, Huizinga was in good spirits.

"They flew me out at

2 a.m. and got to Swedish at 3-3:30 a.m. and out of the operating room before 6 a.m. and I felt fine," Huizinga said Monday afternoon from his office, where he works as a right of way agent for Clallam County.

"I felt pretty much normal by noon. My vital signs were stable by 2 p.m. Wednesday."

The doctors' biggest concern was the incision in the artery, which could lead to bleeding, he said.

Huizinga said the doctors told him to avoid heavy work or stairs until the incision heals and, of course, to stop smoking.

The constricted artery must have affected him because he feels better than he has in a long time, Huizinga said.

"I feel really good but, yeah, I'm going through the stop smoking routine as a precaution."

Huizinga said his is a cautionary tale since he thought he had heartburn until he got checked out.

"Don't take any chances, go to someone who can help you."

A Sequim resident since 1974, Huizinga has been a city councilor since April 2001. He is running unopposed for re-election this year.

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