Three weeks ago, Islamorada councilman Ken Davis was on the phone with his brother, when all of a sudden, a pain ran through his back and spine, to his head and chest.
“It was unlike anything I suffered in my life,” Davis said. “I told him I have to get off the phone. I hopped on the phone with my wife and said, ‘something’s terribly wrong with me.’”
On Sept. 19, Davis was rushed from the Keys via Trauma Star to Baptist Health on the mainland for a ruptured aortic valve, a breakage of the largest artery in the body. Just how serious is a ruptured aortic valve? Davis said fewer than 10 percent who have it survive.
With help from his wife, Charlotte – who urged him to hang up and dial 911 – the Islamorada Fire Rescue, Mariner’s Hospital, Trauma Star and the Baptist Health cardiac surgeons, Davis is alive and well on his way to recovery. A quick diagnosis by Mariner’s Dr. Kevin Westray Holcombe and the imaging crew was vital in getting Davis the treatment he needed. From there, Davis was airlifted to the mainland for surgery that lasted seven hours.
Describing the procedure, Davis said it wasn’t any normal one as his body temperature was decreased severely to make the necessary repairs. And it was all successful. A week later, he returned to his home with his wife, who never left his side.
“I’ve been taking it easy before I start a semi-normal activity list,” he said.
As for the meeting of the Islamorada Village Council on Thursday, Oct. 10, Davis will be in his seat, ready to tackle another list of agenda items.
“I will be there with bells on,” he said.
Maintenance of the Fills is up for talks, as council will consider a resolution requesting a sublease of five years of the parcel containing the area known as the Indian Key Fill boat ramp. In June, the village met with various government agencies regarding overuse of the Fills, which have led to mangrove and shoreline damage. The meeting resulted in temporary agreements with Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida Department of Transportation to allow the village to manage parking and activities.
As to the budget impact of the proposed sublease, $47,600 was included in the Public Works’ budget for one full-time Fills facility attendant. An additional $30,000 was included in the budget for portable toilets and other operating supplies.
Following resolution considerations, council will discuss parking rates and rules for the Fills as well as Anne’s Beach. Last month, council heard from Passport Parking and representative Daryl Davis on a mobile pay-to-park application used by municipalities, universities and companies with parking lots.