Veteran Lawndale City Councilman Larry Rudolph remained in a hospital Wednesday, awaiting a heart transplant operation, his wife said.
"Larry is in perfect health, except he needs a new heart," Shirley Rudolph said at a press conference at Lawndale City Hall.
Without the heart transplant, Rudolph said, her husband probably would not live another year.
Larry Rudolph has been in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center since April 26, and plans to keep his council position after the transplant, Rudolph said.
She added that her husband, a council member since 1986, plans to run again in 1994--not only for the council, but in the annual Lawndale 5-K run.
Rudolph said she called the press conference because of concerns among some Lawndale residents about her husband's health, which has noticeably deteriorated in recent months. The 5-feet-9-inch, 55-year-old councilman has lost 46 pounds since February and has been hospitalized several times.
Rudolph said her husband has a history of heart problems, undergoing heart bypass operations in 1977 and 1981. After falling ill in February, he was admitted to Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital and later received outpatient care.
Larry Rudolph was admitted to Cedars-Sinai on April 26 for tests and has remained there since. Doctors decided on May 14 that he is a suitable heart transplant recipient, his wife said, and are seeking a donor.
She said it usually takes up to a year to get a heart transplant, but because of her husband's critical condition, he is "first on the list" for the operation once a heart is located. Rudolph said doctors estimate there is an 85% chance that Larry Rudolph's body will not reject the new heart.
Lawndale Mayor Harold Hofmann said no special council action will be required to excuse Rudolph for missing council meetings.
"We'll miss Larry, of course," Hofmann said. "But it will be business as usual. He'll still be a councilman when he gets out of the hospital."