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Sen. Bill Weber discharged after a successful heart procedure

Surgery was performed Oct. 20 at Sanford USD Medical Center.

Bill Weber mug

ST. PAUL — Sen. Bill Weber, R-Luverne, was discharged from Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls on Wednesday after a successful open-heart procedure to replace his aortic valve.

Weber elected to have the procedure on Oct. 20, to resolve ongoing issues with a bicuspid valve, a heart defect he has had since birth.

Following his procedure, Weber issued the following statement:

“I thank God for watching over me and the doctors and nurses. Certainly, nothing happens without his guidance and control. I want to thank Dr. Nykamp and the entire ICU staff at Sanford for performing a successful surgery and providing outstanding monitoring and care afterward. I would also like to thank my wife Barb, family and friends who were by my side or sent prayers during this time.

“Today, I am already on the path to recovery. After 37 years of living with the diagnosis of my valve defect, I always knew surgical replacement was a possibility. Unfortunately, over the past year, I had noticed a subtle decline in my condition and ability to complete physical tasks that I had once accomplished with ease. Knowing where the fault lay, I elected to receive this procedure to improve my quality of life, complete my duties at work more effectively, and best represent my constituents in southwestern Minnesota.

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“While I will still need a little time to recover fully, I look forward to beginning the rehab process as soon as possible. I also look forward to quickly resuming my legislative duties representing the wonderful people and communities of Senate District 22.

“Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not take another moment to thank my care team and all of Minnesota’s outstanding healthcare professionals. For nearly two years, they have been on the frontlines sacrificing for us all.

“As we head into the next flu and COVID season and face a deadline for mandated vaccinations and looming bed and workforce shortages due to those mandates, I hope we can find a balance between protecting peoples’ health while respecting their rights and freedoms. I am already receiving word from nursing homes and health care facilities that they are losing staff due to these mandates — staff which was already in short supply.

“Under the claim of protecting people, such mandates may well indeed put more people’s health at risk. Perhaps, when people in the medical field question taking a vaccine, we should listen to them and allow them to decide for themselves — not have government make it for them,” Weber said.

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