Saying he “feels great,” Orange County Executive Edward Diana spent Wednesday morning telling his staff, the county legislature, and then reporters, that he is in need of a new liver. He is on a transplant waitlist, with no clear indication when a suitable donor will be available.
The condition is Non-Alcohol Fatty Liver Disease, which has resulted in a deterioration of his liver to the point that a transplant is necessary for long-term survival. His personal physician, Dr. Edward Crone of Crystal Run Health Care, and doctors at Columbia Presbyterian where the surgery will be performed, advise him now is the optimum time to proceed, but at this point, Dr. Crone said, time is not critical.
“He has a really good amount of time to wait before anything would become an emergency, so he’s actually in a really optimal point right now,” Crone said.
Diana confirmed his condition is not slowing him down.
“I feel great and I’m here to serve all the 373,000 residents, each and every day, of this great county,” Diana said.
When the surgery is performed, there will be a 10 to 12 week recovery period. During that time, Deputy County Executive James O’Donnell will serve as acting county executive.
“County Government continues to operate as usual. There will be no interruption of programs or services. And, Team Orange and I will remain committed to meeting the needs of all the residents,” Diana said.
The county executive said he is prepared to go into surgery at a moment’s notice, once a suitable organ is found. That could happen in days, weeks, or months.
Meanwhile, Diana is leaving no doubt about what he sees for his future. He plans on remaining in office “for many years to come.”