Home Business State Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund receives heart, kidney transplants

State Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund receives heart, kidney transplants

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SALT LAKE CITY — Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe, is “doing remarkably well” after receiving a new heart and kidney, members of the Utah Senate were told Wednesday.

The transplants took place Thursday and Okerlund is “up and walking around” and misses the Legislature, Senate Budget Chairman Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, said during a Senate confirmation session.

“It’s really an answer to prayer and we do miss him,” Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, said.

Sen. Kevin Van Tassell, R-Vernal, has been serving temporarily as majority leader since mid-February so that Okerlund could focus on the process of being evaluated by doctors for potential heart and kidney transplants.

“He’s doing remarkably well,” Stevenson said. “We realize there’s still a lot of risk involved in this.”

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