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Wendell Young reveals amputations, death scare after heart surgery

Council member lost most of toes to blood clots
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Posted at 6:19 PM, Jan 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-19 18:38:19-05

CINCINNATI – City Council member Wendell Young says he had to have most of his toes amputated but he feels “blessed” to have escaped death as a result of treatment for his torn aorta last fall.

Young, 72,  said Friday that he has difficulty walking but called that “a small price to pay” because doctors told him the blood clots he developed were “normally fatal.”

Young revealed that while taping WCPO’s “This Week in Cincinnati,” a weekly half-hour show that will air at 11 a.m. Sunday on 9 On Your Side.

“Walking is different for me now. I lost all the toes on my left foot, two on my right,” said Young, who had emergency heart surgery on Sept. 7.

“I developed an allergy to haperin they couldn't possibly have known - even I didn't know - and it caused my blood instead of thinning to clot,” he said.

“The blood clots were mostly in my feet, but they could have gone in my lungs or my brain or anywhere else, so it’s a small price to pay.”

Young said he was horrified at first.

“When I first found out what had happened to me, because I had no clue, and then when I found out it’s normally fatal, and then I found out that I would have to have the amputations, I was not pleased about that,” Young said. “It took a moment or two to adjust to that. But I am really blessed.”

Young finished fourth in the November council election and retained his seat even though he was unable to campaign the final two months. He returned to City Hall in December.