Recovering Bellevue City Council member releases first statement | UPDATE
By NAT LEVY
Bellevue Reporter Staff Writer
September 24, 2010 · Updated 10:21 AM
In a prepared statement released Friday, Council member John Chelminiak thanked all those involved with his recovery. Chelminiak remains at Harborview Medical Center after suffering a bear attack last week. He said the turnout within the community, the medical assistance he received and the support of his family have helped tremendously in the beginning of his recuperation process. Anyone who would like to pass a message to Chelminiak can contact him through his Facebook page.
Full text of the statement is below.
"I'd like to express my thanks to everyone for their prayers and outpouring of support these past few days. It has been deeply appreciated.
For those at Bellevue City Hall, I want you to know that while I will be in recovery over the next couple of weeks, I am already looking forward to getting back to work and tackling the important issues facing us. This ordeal has given me a better understanding of what our employees who deal with emergency situations on a regular basis undergo. It has given me a keen awareness of the challenges they face and the vital services they provide every day of their working lives.
For our immediate neighbors in Bellevue, as well as our many friends throughout Bellevue, the region and Central and Eastern Washington, Lynn, Megan, Morgan and I would like to thank you for your concern and kind words.
My recovery from the injuries I've sustained is amazing - a fact I attribute not only to my will to live, but the professionalism and dedication of the first-rate medical community caring for me. I'm so thankful to the Chelan County paramedics at Lake Wenatchee who realized that I just needed to get to the hospital quickly and treated me supremely. I'm thankful to the doctors at Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee, who stabilized me and immediately realized that Harborview Medical Center would be the best place for me. They arranged to airlift me to Harborview as quickly as possible, and I can't say enough about the medical team here. They are an incredible regional asset.
Those who know me know that I would like nothing better than to visit with friends right now. Unfortunately, a visit with one person would lead to visits with hundreds, and I really need to preserve my strength for the next several weeks to concentrate on recovery and healing. While my progress has been remarkable, it's just going to take time to recover completely.
Finally, to Lynn and Megan, who were at the cabin when the bear attacked, words cannot describe how I feel. You showed incredible bravery in making sure the bear was gone so I could get the help that saved my life."
The attack occurred near Chelminiak's Lake Wenatchee vacation home the evening of Sept. 16. He received multiple head and face wounds and required extensive reconstructive surgery the following weekend. He remained in intensive care until Sept. 21. His recovery continues, and the City Council voted at its last meeting to excuse Chelminiak until the Oct. 25 meeting with the possibility of extension.Contact Bellevue Reporter Staff Writer Nat Levy at email@example.com or 425-453-4290.