Ferriday mayor recovering following heart procedure

Published 12:11 am Thursday, October 16, 2014

FERRIDAY — Ferriday Mayor Gene Allen is recovering from a heart procedure and could return home this week, family members said.

Allen had quintuple bypass heart surgery Oct. 6.

“He is still in the hospital, but he has progressed,” his daughter Genesia Allen said.

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“He is taking his breathing treatments to stabilize his breathing, but the surgery went well and the recovery went well.”

Genesia said the mayor’s surgery wasn’t a planned procedure.

“He wasn’t feeling well Thursday night — (Oct. 2) — so he went to the hospital locally, and that is when they sent him to the hospital in Alexandria,” she said.

Doctors are continuing to evaluate the mayor’s health, Genesia said, and if they determine he has made enough progress, he could be allowed to return home in the next three to four days.

“They want to make sure he is doing his best before they release him,” she said.

In the interim until Allen returns to work, Alderman Johnnie Brown is serving as mayor pro tem. Brown said the only mayoral duty he has filled since Allen was hospitalized was to open the regularly scheduled board of aldermen’s meeting Tuesday. But even that role was limited because the board didn’t have a quorum, he said.

Two aldermen — Stepper Banks and Somer Lance — were not in attendance, and with Brown in the mayor’s seat, the meeting for the five member board couldn’t move forward.

“I guess everything is moving forward under the department heads,” Brown said. “I haven’t been called up to town hall for anything.”

Brown said he has visited the mayor at the hospital.

Genesia Allen said the family would like to thank everybody for the calls, cards and other messages of support they have received.

“The support has been overwhelming,” she said.

Allen is serving his second, non-consecutive term as mayor. He was mayor from 2004-2008, and was elected a second time in 2012.