No surgery needed for Mayor Lioneld Jordan

Mayor Lioneld Jordan will not need to undergo surgery for a blocked artery, he told us from his office inside City Hall Wednesday morning.

“I’m back at work and feeling great,” he said.

After meeting with Dr. John Weiss Tuesday afternoon, Jordan said it was determined that surgery would not help clear the carotid artery blockage in his neck that may have led to a brief moment of vision loss two weeks ago.

“The doctor told me my right carotid artery is 100 percent blocked and there’s nothing that can be done,” he said. “It’s history.”

Jordan said Dr. Weiss believes the blockage in the right side started developing 20 years ago. The left side, however, remained clear and began to overdevelop to accommodate the blood flow needed for the brain to continue to function.

Jordan said after meeting with a total of four doctors, he’s certain that he’ll be fine as long as the left artery remains clear enough to provide an adequate amount of blood.

“All we have to do now is monitor it every six months to a year,” he said.

The backstory

The first signs of Jordan’s medical condition appeared on Saturday, Oct. 16 when he was on the University of Arkansas campus where he was scheduled to read a proclamation in honor of Make a Difference Day.

“I began to get these small white spots on my eyes and before I knew it, it was like a white sheet had been put over my face,” he said. “It happened in a matter of seconds, but when it all came back, double vision had set in.”

Jordan said he remained calm, but notified those around him that he’d lost his vision for a moment.

Dr. Hershey Garner, who was with Jordan at the time, suggested they head to the emergency room.

“He said ‘I think you might’ve had a stroke’,” said Jordan. “So we walked from the Student Union to Carnall Hall and then we drove to the hospital.”

After a CT scan, doctors ruled out the possibility of a stroke, so Jordan was sent home to wait for the final results. Those results showed signs of a possible artery blockage, so he was called back to the hospital Saturday for an MRI.

MRI results revealed blockage of a carotid artery which supplies oxygenated blood to the brain. The blockage, Jordan said, may have led to what his ophthalmologist has since diagnosed as lateral rectus palsy – a nerve disorder that causes double vision.

On Thursday, Jordan underwent a second CT scan – this time with dye – to determine the severity of the blockage. He received the results on Monday.

“They told me the artery was severely blocked and that I might need surgery,” said Jordan. “So I made an appointment for 3 p.m. Tuesday to talk with a surgeon.”

That’s when Jordan was told that the blockage could not – and would not – need to be cleared.

“This tells you the amazing ability of the body,” he said. “I certainly dodged a bullet.”