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Cerritos Mayor Jim Edwards Back From Hip Surgery and Better Than Ever

The longtime Cerritos resident recently underwent hip replacement surgery and is feeling better than he has in the last four years.

After undergoing an intense 2.5-hour hip replacement surgery and receiving plenty of post-surgery care and assistance from his family,  says he is feeling better than ever. 

"For the first time in four years now I am finally pain-free and it's an incredible feeling," Edwards said. "I'm still moving slowly and I've had time to relax, but every day I'm moving easier and becoming less dependent on my cane."

The two-time mayor had the procedure done on his left hip on July 31, 2012 at Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center.

"I was trying to put my surgery off until November, but the pain just got so bad, so I finally waived the white flag," he said. 

The problems with his hip, Edwards said began shortly after he ruptured his left Achilles while participating in live batting practice at Angels Stadium in Anaheim back in 2008. (The mayor has nearly three decades of experience in athletics, coaching various high school varsity sports including baseball, cross country, soccer, softball and track and field.) 

"I actually hurt myself while I was mayor the first time around," he said recalling the injury. "I remember I had to wear a boot and cast during the mayor's conference that year."

Shortly after injuring himself, Edwards also suffered a case of the shingles and so began the problems on the left side of his body, particularly in his hip. 

"In January of this year, I was just experiencing tremendous pain, so I asked for an x-ray and that's when the doctor discovered I had bone-on-bone in my left hip," he said. "My doctor asked how I had been dealing with it every day ... honestly it's been just terrible."

On The Road To Recovery

Under the care of orthopaedic specialist and surgeon, Dr. Abraham Gregory Lin, the mayor said his recovery has moved quicker than he expected. 

"While I was in the hospital, two of my nurses were actually former students of mine, so I kept thinking 'geez I hope I gave them good grades'," Edwards chuckled. "But everyone at the hospital kept telling me how lucky I was to have Dr. Lin because all of his patients recover better than anyone. In fact, I had two physical therapy sessions before I left from a four-day hospital stay."

Since then the retired teacher/administrator's road to recovery has been aided with help from his wife of 45 years, Connie, and his kids, Scott and Stacy.

"Connie took some time off to help me, and honestly, if it wasn't for her, I couldn't have done it," he said. "Both my kids also came over to help early on. The first couple of days I was very dependent on them helping me get up and using my walker, but each day I've been improving and finally got rid of the walker."

A Man of Steel, He Hasn't Missed A Beat

Ten days after surgery, Edwards, who was determined not to miss out on any of his responsibilities as the city's leader, ran the Aug. 9 city council meeting.

"Connie and I went a little early to the meeting and I had my foot propped up underneath the table," he said. "In all these years on the council, I hadn't missed a meeting and didn't plan on missing one now. So Bruce (Barrows) was my Vanna White when we did a presentation, and I also attended on Aug. 14 and gave a speech there. So I really haven't stopped even after my procedure."

The one thing he did admit he has been extremely cautious with, is making sure he uses his cane to avoid suffering a fall. 

"Connie said if I fell, it would be my 'second wife' that would have to take care of me," he said jokingly. "It took me a while to understand exactly what she meant!"

Looking Forward to the Final Stretch of His Farewell Year

With a full recovery expected to take about three months, Edwards said he's simply grateful to be on the road to 100 percent health and looks forward to getting back to his usual activities -- spending time with his wife, his children and five grandchildren and of course, enjoying one of his favorite past times -- being out on the green.

"To be pain free is just wonderful, and now I'm starting to get around real good and that's the most important thing," he said. "I just don't want to get hurt again, so in the meantime, I'm doing all my exercises and icing, and it will probably be in November when I can play golf again."

With just about six months left in his mayorship, Edwards said he plans to make this final stretch before he retires, one to remember.

"I just feel so blessed to be a part of this -- it's been a great ride and it's hard to explain ... for 25 straight years I have been on a city commission, committee or council," he said. "Who knew that a kid growing up in Lakewood, would have been able to do all the things I've done. I just wished my parents would have lived to see what I've been able to do since this is my last hurrah."

Edwards celebrated his 68th birthday on Aug. 31.

wolfcreek September 05, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Jim, congratulations on your successful surgery.
ernie September 06, 2012 at 05:29 AM
Congrats-- to better mobility-- You're young enough to have an excellent recovery and you deserve it...

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