PALMDALE – Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford, who suffered a heart attack Sunday evening, was previously believed to be in good condition and resting comfortably. However, further testing Monday morning revealed more damage to the heart than originally thought. Ledford is currently in the Intensive Care Unit of Antelope Valley Hospital.
“The initial assessment was a little bit optimistic,” said Palmdale Councilman Tom Lackey late Monday morning. “They were able to determine that the damage to his heart is significant. I’m not sure exactly what that means at this point, but he is still in a critical stage and we’re all worried.”
As The AV Times reported Sunday, Ledford was a guest speaker at the 17th Annual Candlelight Ceremony held at the Lancaster Cemetery, which was presented by Antelope Valley Detachment #930 Marine Corps League.
Ledford appeared in good spirits. He said he’d come to the Lancaster event to honor his father, who was a career Marine. Ledford also spoke of his duty as a community leader.
“It’s pretty simple as a leader of a community to do your duty, your duty really is showing up for stuff like this,” Ledford said. “This is what leaders are supposed to be about, leading the community to show their support for veterans.”
After delivering his remarks, Ledford reported feeling light headed, having shortness of breath and experiencing pain in the chest. Some marines, who had some previous medical training and were talking to the Mayor after his remarks, saw that something was not right and quickly called for an ambulance. Ledford was transported to Antelope Valley Hospital.
At the hospital, Ledford underwent a series of tests that showed blockage in the main artery to the heart. An angioplasty procedure was performed and the Mayor was awake and talking afterwards. Doctors initially felt that the rest of the time would be left monitoring the Mayor to see how he recovered.
Lackey said he spoke to Ledford’s wife, Rachelle, late Monday morning and was told that the Mayor was still experiencing discomfort. Lackey was visibly emotional as he spoke about hearing the most recent news.
“He’s a good man, and having had family members go through this I know what it entails,” Lackey said. “You hate to see good people facing life threatening situations.”
Lackey said he had visited Ledford at the hospital Sunday night, and even then, Ledford was thinking of others before himself.
“The entire time I witnessed him, he was not expressing how he was feeling other than the fact that he was apologizing,” Lackey said. “So that shows you what kind of man he is.”
“He has been my political ally and friend for more than 20 years, so to hear something that shocking about a person that really is a picture of health, it was alarming,” said close friend Sandy Corrales-Eneix. “It’s been a tough year for our Palmdale political family, with Patricia Shaw and now with the Mayor… it hurt me and it hit me especially hard.”
“On a scale of 1 to 10, the heart attack was a 7.5,” said Lackey in a City news release. “For the next three days it is very important that the Mayor gets plenty of rest and builds up his strength.”
The AV Times will bring you more information on the Mayor’s condition as it becomes available.