Botkin OK after quadruple bypass
June 11, 2008 · Updated 11:26 AM
"To hear Kitsap County Commissioner Tim Botkin talk on the phone Monday, April 2, you probably wouldn't have guessed a team of University of Washington Medical Center surgeons had performed quadruple heart bypass surgery on him Friday, March 30.Deanna Erstad, an office aide for the Kitsap County Commissioners, couldn't believe it herself when she called for an update on Botkin's health.She was surprised when the call was patched through to Botkin - and he answered.What are you doing answering your phone? Erstad admonished, though pleased Botkin was well enough to do so.Botkin quipped to Erstad that he didn't have enough cash to hire a receptionist for his hospital room. That truly Botkin-esque story spread quickly through the office, and folks like fellow commissioners Chris Endresen and Jan Angel could breathe a bit easier as a result. Doctors at the U.W. Medical Center expected to release Botkin from the hospital yesterday, April 3, because the surgery and his initial recovery went well.A UW Medical Center nurse said Monday Botkin is an independent sort. He's taken several walks through the hospital and his vital signs are stable.He needs to take his mind off of the stress of the job for a while so he can recuperate, Endresen said Monday. If you push it, it takes longer.Angel agreed, saying Botkin should rest to take full advantage of the surgery.Tim called this morning requesting that some reading material be sent to him, Angel said, noting Botkin still appears anxious to keep tabs on what is happening in Kitsap County. He's particularly interested in the proposed new Bremerton governance center. That only makes sense, said Angel, considering commissioners work non-stop, seven days a week. Faced with nothing to do, a person probably won't know how to react, she said - especially Botkin.Endresen and Angel both vowed to make do without their colleague in the short term. Doctors expect Botkin to recover in three to four weeks.Problems could arise, however, if Endresen and Angel don't agree on an issue that requires a vote. Neither Democrat Endresen nor Republican Angel expected that to happen.However, Angel said the situation highlights how small the board really is, compared with the current needs of the county.This situation really illustrates the disadvantage of having only three commissioners, said Angel, who is closely watching whether the Kitsap County Board of Freeholders expand the commission as part of a new county charter.Doctors said Botkin's surgery went off without a hitch and concluded one hour earlier than planned. Tests taken during Botkin's routine physical exam last week indicated that several heart arteries were clogged because of a hereditary condition, so doctors immediately scheduled preventive surgery for 1 p.m. March 30. "