Ogan remains in critical condition after heart attack

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- The House of Representatives held a moment of silent prayer on Monday for Rep. Scott Ogan who remained in stable but critical condition after suffering a heart attack over the weekend.

Ogan, a Republican from Palmer, remained on life support in the coronary care unit at Providence Alaska Medical Center Monday, said House Speaker Brian Porter, R-Anchorage.

''The idea of the life support is not that his condition has worsened, but to give his heart a rest so that he has the greatest chance or recovery,'' Porter said.

Ogan's family referred media inquiries to House Republican leaders over the weekend. Dan Saddler, Republican Majority spokesman, said Ogan has been sedated to allow his body to rest, but he is conscious.

Ogan, 49, had traveled home from Juneau on Friday evening to receive an award as Legislator of the Year from the Alaska Outdoor Council on Saturday night.

He began feeling ill about 10:30 a.m. Saturday, said Linda Hay, his chief of staff. Ogan thought the pains were indigestion at first, but then asked his family to call an ambulance. Before the ambulance arrived, Ogan suffered a major heart attack, Hay said.

Last spring, Ogan was hospitalized with a blood clot in his leg. Hay said the doctor she spoke with did not say whether the heart attack was related to the blood clot.

Ogan is chairman of the House Oil and Gas Committee, vice chairman of the Judiciary Committee, a member of the Legislative Council, a member of the House Transportation Committee and a member of a Joint Committee on Natural Gas Pipelines.

Rep. Hugh Fate, R-Fairbanks, will take over leadership of the Oil and Gas Committee.

If Ogan becomes well enough, he could participate in committee meetings by telephone and could vote on procedural motions or amendments in committee, Saddler said.

He could not, however, vote to move bills out of committee, nor could he vote on bills on the House floor without being present in person.

His absence could affect the outcome of some matters that require a two-thirds vote, such as to suspend the House rules. But that would happen only if another member of the 28-member House majority is absent.

Ogan, a full-time lawmaker who has represented Palmer since 1994 and a cabinetmaker by trade, is married and has two children, a daughter, Laura, 16, and a son, Ryan, 18.

He is a staunch conservative who has pushed for large budget cuts to help cover Alaska's fiscal gap.

Rep. Bill Hudson, R-Juneau, asked legislators to pause for a moment of silence and prayer for Ogan and his family on Monday.

Saddler requested that well-wishers not bother the hospital or Ogan's family right now.

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