- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 1, 2018

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim has returned to work, just days after suffering what doctors believe were two heart attacks.

Kim was back at his desk Monday morning after driving himself to the hospital on Thursday with chest pains, West Hawaii Today reported . The 78-year-old mayor was flown to Oahu, where he underwent a heart procedure.

Kim said doctors told him he had a heart attack in Hilo and possibly a second in Honolulu. They would be Kim’s fourth and fifth heart attacks.

He had a triple bypass 10 years ago and said doctors told him the valves in his chest have about a 10-year lifespan.

Kim said one of the valves collapsed and specialists were unsuccessful in their attempts to fix it. He’s now on medication.



Kim checked out of the hospital Friday and spent the weekend in Honolulu with his wife, Bobbi.

“I know my body. I know what works,” Kim said. “I know what I have to do.”

The mayor said he does not want to take medication, but willl continue the regimen on his doctor’s orders. He also said he plans to eat more than his previous one meal a day and get more rest.

Kim had been keeping a hectic schedule, starting with daily early morning briefings at Civil Defense and continuing through evening meetings most days. He has been in office since December 2016, after serving two terms from 2000 to 2008.

Managing Director Wil Okabe, who served as acting mayor in Kim’s absence, said he was somewhat surprised to see the mayor back so soon.

“What really impresses me is his dedication to the county,” Okabe said. “He’s driven to help the community.”

Okabe said he and the staff are doing their best to lighten Kim’s workload by taking on more duties.

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Information from: West Hawaii Today, http://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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