City man­ager Knight hopes to be back to work Mon­day

The Covington News - - LOCAL - GABRIEL KHOULI gkhouli@cov­

Cov­ing­ton City Man­ager Leigh Anne Knight is home in Cov­ing­ton and hopes to be back at work Mon­day as she con­tin­ues her re­cov­ery from a heart at­tack that left her hos­pi­tal­ized while on va­ca­tion in Florida.

Knight, who spent sev­eral days in a Florida hos­pi­tal, said the ex­pe­ri­ence has been dif­fi­cult, but she’s feel­ing a lot bet­ter and is thank­ful she only suf­fered a mild heart at­tack in­stead of a po­ten­tially-de­bil­i­tat­ing stroke, which doc­tors told her was the more likely out­come for a per­son with an­tiphos­pho­lipid syn­drome (APS) – Knight’s pre­lim­i­nary di­ag­no­sis. She will have to take blood thin­ners for the rest of her life.

APS causes a per­son’s blood to over-coag­u­late, which led to the danger­ous blood clots Knight ex­pe­ri­enced. Hus­band Scott Knight said there are sev­eral dif­fer­ent types of APS, and fur­ther blood study will de­ter­mine Leigh Anne’s spe­cific type. The con­di­tion is not cur­able but is treat­able.

“Now it’ll be prop­erly treated, and the heart doc­tor says this medi- cine is some­thing lots of peo­ple are on. It’s a very man­age­able medicine,” Leigh Anne said. “I have to learn to live with it and I can do that.”

Leigh Anne, 45, suf­fered the heart at­tack July 1 while on va­ca­tion in Panama City, Fla., and was treated there be­fore friend and pilot Len Strozier flew down Mon­day to pick up the Knight fam­ily and trans­port them quickly back to Cov­ing­ton. The flight was part of the non­profit pro­gram An­gel Flight, which matches pi­lots with peo­ple need­ing ex­pe­di­tious med­i­cal trans­port.

Strozier was ac­com­pa­nied by pilot Scott Pe­doa, who didn’t know the fam­ily but still lent a help­ing hand.

“I don’t know if I can put it into words; I guess it’s al­most like an in­cred­i­ble jour­ney,” Leigh Anne said. “You feel like you’re fairly healthy – no­body is a per­fect eater. You feel like you take pretty good care of your­self … and it’s shock­ing to re­al­ize that it re­ally doesn’t mat­ter (what you do) if there is some­thing there ge­net­i­cally. There’s noth­ing you can do that can pre­pare you for it, ex­cept for now, know­ing it’s there and know­ing it’s ge­netic, pre­par­ing fu­ture gen­er­a­tions for that.”

Leigh Anne said she hoped other peo­ple would be able to learn from her dis­ease, and both she and Scott said they were thank­ful the con­di­tion was found now be­fore a more se­ri­ous in­ci­dent oc­curred.

“You don’t ever want to be thank­ful for things that dam­age your body, but at the same time, look­ing back and do­ing the read­ing about this par­tic­u­lar blood dis­or­der, most peo­ple have strokes, and we all know most of the time strokes are de­bil­i­tat­ing in some form or fash­ion. This was a wakeup call for me in the form of a heart at­tack,” she said.

While the heart at­tack led to health is­sues, Leigh Anne said her heart is al­most back to func­tion­ing at 100 per­cent of its ca­pac­ity and will reach that level with ad­di­tional med­i­ca­tion.

“I have to say I am thank­ful, be­cause now I know I have the prob­lem, and be­cause, hope­fully with the med­i­ca­tion, it’s very man­age­able from here on out. It’s the strangest thing to hear some­body say they’re thank­ful for that, but God has a way of putting you in a po­si­tion where he teaches you and re­veals some­thing to you,” she said. “The thing He re­vealed may not be what you think is good, but in this in­stance it was very good and ended up be­ing the best for ev­ery­body.”

Scott said Leigh Anne has a few more doc­tors’ ap­point­ments this week and will then visit the doc­tor weekly un­til ev­ery­thing is back to nor­mal. The cou­ple thanked ev­ery­one for their prayers and sup­port.

“I’m just thank­ful for ev­ery­body, mostly for their prayers and their con­cern showed to us and for us,” Leigh Anne said. “It’s just been an out­pour­ing; I’m so blessed to have that kind of con­cern for me.”

Deputy City Man­ager Billy Bouchillon is serv­ing as Cov­ing­ton’s head city ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cial in Knight’s ab­sence.


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