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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 23, 2010

Council member who survived bear attack gives thanks

In a prepared statement released today, Council member John Chelminiak offers thanks to the community as he recovers from a bear mauling at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Well wishers can post to the council member's Facebook page.

"I'd like to express my thanks to everyone for their prayers and outpouring of support these past few days. It has been deeply appreciated.

For those at Bellevue City Hall, I want you to know that while I will be in recovery over the next couple of weeks, I am already looking forward to getting back to work and tackling the important issues facing us. This ordeal has given me a better understanding of what our employees who deal with emergency situations on a regular basis undergo. It has given me a keen awareness of the challenges they face and the vital services they provide every day of their working lives.

For our immediate neighbors in Bellevue, as well as our many friends throughout Bellevue, the region and Central and Eastern Washington, Lynn, Megan, Morgan and I would like to thank you for your concern and kind words.

My recovery from the injuries I've sustained is amazing -- a fact I attribute not only to my will to live, but the professionalism and dedication of the first-rate medical community caring for me. I'm so thankful to the Chelan County paramedics at Lake Wenatchee who realized that I just needed to get to the hospital quickly and treated me supremely. I'm thankful to the doctors at Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee, who stabilized me and immediately realized that Harborview Medical Center would be the best place for me. They arranged to airlift me to Harborview as quickly as possible, and I can't say enough about the medical team here. They are an incredible regional asset.

Those who know me know that I would like nothing better than to visit with friends right now. Unfortunately, a visit with one person would lead to visits with hundreds, and I really need to preserve my strength for the next several weeks to concentrate on recovery and healing. While my progress has been remarkable, it's just going to take time to recover completely.

Finally, to Lynn and Megan, who were at the cabin when the bear attacked, words cannot describe how I feel. You showed incredible bravery in making sure the bear was gone so I could get the help that saved my life."

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450 110th Ave. NE
P.O. Box 90012
Bellevue, WA 98009
Phone: 425-452-7810
Fax: 425-452-7919
E-mail: council@bellevuewa.gov

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