By Rene Ray De La Cruz, Staff Writer
Posted:    Mar 23, 2017 at 3:28 PM
Updated: Mar 23, 2017 at 4:44 PM

HESPERIA — Mayor Paul Russ said he doesn’t remember much of last week after a medical emergency put him into a coma and a local hospital.

“I’m doing better now, but it was touch and go for a while when I was in ICU at Desert Valley Hospital,” Russ, the mayor of Hesperia, told the Daily Press Thursday. “I’m at a rehab center in Redlands, but I’m coming home today.”

On March 14, Russ’ wife, Lu, called emergency personnel when her husband began feeling disoriented and was unable to recognize his wife and family.

A kidney transplant recipient and cancer survivor, Russ said his only kidney began shutting down after he ingested a new medicine to help him with a leg injury. Soon the drug began accumulating rather than passing through his kidney and causing him to become ill.

“I was out of commission on Tuesday and didn’t come back to reality until last Sunday,” Russ, 57, said. “I was in a light coma, but those are five days of my life that I don’t remember.”

Russ said the recent medical incident left him with heart palpitations, with physicians currently running tests to diagnose the cause of the abnormality.

Earlier this month, a doctor’s visit revealed Russ’ kidney was failing, but renal function began improving after doctors administered large doses of prednisone.

“During that time, I moved back to stage 3b renal failure from stage 4, but at least it didn’t move to stage 5,” Russ said. “We think I took some older immunosuppressant drugs and they were not effective, leaving my kidney exposed to rejection.”

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