Tl’etinqox First Nation Chief Joe Alphonse, seen here in July 2017 as wildfires approached his community,recently underwent open heart surgery, and said while his recovery has been off to a good start prayers and good energy are still needed and appreciated. (Angie Mindus - Williams Lake Tribune file photo)

Tl’etinqox chief and TNG tribal chair recovering after ‘life-altering’ open heart surgery

Chief Joe Alphonse broke his silence on his health situation Thursday, July 30

The tribal chair of the Tsilhqot’in National Government, who represents six communities west of Williams Lake, and chief is acknowledging and thanking everyone who sent prayers and well wishes to him following a recent heart attack and emergency open heart surgery.

Tl’etinqox (Anaham) Chief Joe Alphonse said it is always great to know that so many people care and are considering him in his current situation.

Read More: B.C. Tl’etinqox Chief Joe Alphonse urges caution amid COVID-19

“I have gone through a life-altering experience,” he said in a community update posted by Tl’etinqox Government on Thursday, July 30.

“For the last three years, I have have been experiencing low-energy levels and seeing doctors and getting various tests and nothing showed up. Over the last month, my stamina and my breathing, had become an issue. After my third visit to the ER in three days, they finally took blood work and determined that I had a mild heart attack.”

After being flown to Kelowna General Hospital, Alphonse underwent open-heart surgery.

“It was a big operation, but a successful one, ” he said, noting there were some struggles and complications in stabilizing him.

Read More: B.C. First Nation breaks ground on $4.5 million gas bar in the Chilcotin

Alphonse, who has been at home now for the past two and a half weeks, said doctors have indicated he is healing well.

“I was told to expect to take at least three months to recover,” he said of the slow, but steady and gradual recovery process. “This Friday (July 31) will make it four-weeks since the operation.”

In the absence of Alphonse, Tl’etinqox Government executive director and councillor, Ashton Harry said she and the other 11 members of council will continue to serve the community. Any political or policy decisions will require a seven-person quorum.

“If all continues to go well, I plan on returning after Thanksgiving,” said Alphonse, adding he will be self- isolating and limiting any visitations until he achieves at least eight weeks of full recovery.

“For the last three years, I feel like I have been operating at 50 per cent energy levels and I am told that after full recovery from this surgery, that my energy will be 100 per cent once again. I am excited to get back to that place.”


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
rebecca.dyok@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ChilcotinFirst Nations

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wells mining camp worker tests positive for COVID-19

A worker at a mining camp tested positive for the coronavirus after leaving the camp.

Downtown Williams Lake Art Walk 2020 opens Aug. 7

This year’s event features 27 businesses and 28 artists

Rodeo clinic, ranch visit entertains First Nations youth and elders in B.C.’s Interior

A fun time had for Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation at C+ Rodeos

Studies show Mount Polley Mine breach material re-suspends in Quesnel Lake

High copper levels continue in Quesnel River six years after breach

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Interior Health reports nine new cases of COVID-19, 149 linked to Kelowna

Nine new cases were reported in the Interior Health region over the long weekend’s four reporting periods

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

Interior Health expands COVID-19 testing access in Kelowna

First-come, first-serve, no-appointment-needed testing centre opens in downtown Kelowna

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

Most Read