Stahoviak's surgeries done

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Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak underwent her fourth and final knee surgery last week, and she said Tuesday that she is happy with her progress.

"I'm feeling really good about it," Stahoviak said. "It was worth the wait."

Stahoviak's term as county commissioner will end in November, but she is running for re-election against Libertarian candidate Mike Kien.

The final surgery, which was to install a permanent replacement in her left knee, was delayed in August after doctors found an infection in her leg. For the past two months, she has taken antibiotics, and when doctors looked at her knee Oct. 12 they found no signs of infection.

After the surgery last week, Stahoviak was transferred to the Spalding Rehabilitation Center for intensive therapy. She will stay there for at least another week, at which time her health will be re-evaluated, and she may return home.

Stahoviak said she hopes to be back in the office by Dec. 1, depending on how her therapy progresses and whether snow and ice make it difficult for her to get outside. At the latest, she plans to be back to her full-time duties by the first of the year. She originally hoped to return by July 1.

She has been participating in county meetings through telephone conferences, and has attended some special meetings in person.

Stahoviak was flown to a Denver hospital because of life-threatening kidney failure and infections in mid-December, and in the past months, has had temporary replacements with antibiotics installed in both knees.

In June, she had a permanent knee replacement installed in her right knee, and she now has the same permanent replacement in her left knee.

"I'm feeling really strong," Stahoviak said. "It's getting better every day."

Her goal is to be strong enough by the time she gets to Routt County that she can get around her Oak Creek home by herself. She had hoped to make it for Election Day, but decided to fill out an absentee ballot just in case.

She said that cards, flowers and support from people still are coming in.

"I continue to appreciate the way people are thinking of me," Stahoviak said. "All of that helps."

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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