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Ex-Lord Mayor set for return to council after major surgery

By Victoria Leonard

Former Lord Mayor of Belfast Arder Carson says he is "looking forward to getting back to council" after undergoing major surgery a fortnight ago.

The Sinn Fein councillor for Black Mountain endured six hours in theatre during a double bypass on his femoral artery in the Royal Victoria Hospital. Now in recovery, 57-year-old Cllr Carson says he is "very lucky" and is looking forward to returning to the cut and thrust of local politics.

"The surgery was quite major and I have been left with a wound a foot long in my tummy," Cllr Carson told the Belfast Telegraph.

"A couple of days after surgery I was out and into a chair, then the physios were up to get me walking and get my circulation going.

"I still feel a bit weak but I'm getting stronger every day. I haven't been able to attend council regularly since January as the symptoms were so debilitating and I couldn't walk.

"I tried to attend a couple of meetings but couldn't do the full council meetings. The other councillors from Black Mountain have been helping pick up the workload.

"I missed it like mad, and I kept up to date with what was going on via my iPad."

Cllr Carson paid tribute to staff at the Royal for nursing him back to health, and also to his council colleagues and constituents.

"I have had lots of cards and get well wishes from councillors from other political parties, staff and party colleagues, and I want to thank them for keeping me in their thoughts, prayers and lighting candles," he said.

"I would also like to thank my family for the care and support that they have shown in getting me through this illness and back to health."

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