Mayor Berkley on his health, time in office

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Former Kansas City Mayor Richard Berkley is just now walking for the first time on his own since a major health scare one year ago this week.

It was April 3, 2013 and Berkley remembers the tense moments that night in his home.

“I was sitting upstairs and all of a sudden I couldn’t breathe. I said to Sandy, ‘I gotta get to the hospital,’” he recalls.

Sandy, the former first lady of Kansas City, rushed her husband to the hospital. Berkley spent two months in the hospital, but that was just the beginning of his recovery.

“Lost my voice for quite a while; I couldn’t eat for about six months,” he said.

He walked for the first time without some sort of assistance in March of this year, almost a full year after that scary night in his home.

Overall, Mayor Berkley said his health is reasonably good. He’s had heart surgery twice and this the most recent dilemma last year, but he feels good.

Berkley was mayor from 1979 to 1991, during which time our city experienced a major disaster in the Hyatt collapse in 1981 and a major victory with the World Series in 1985.

Mayor Berkley has hundreds of pictures of people he’s met in his lifetime. His basement has pictures hanging from floor to ceiling, as well as boxes of many others. He can name almost everyone in those pictures. 

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