Some terrible health news for Orange County Executive Ed Diana. We learn he'll need a new liver. YNN's Elaina Athans joins us from Goshen with more.
GOSHEN -- There's been chatter and speculation for some time that Orange County Executive Ed Diana has been sick and on Wednesday, he announced he is battling a disease.
"This has led me to make a very critical decision regarding my health," said Diana.
With his wife, daughter, and doctor by his side, Diana announced he'll need a liver transplant. Diana's name has been added to an organ transplant list and while he waits, he plans to stay in office and continue running Orange County.
"I feel well. I feel great. I'm committed to Orange County as I always have been and the job of County Executive," said Diana.
Diana has a condition called Non-Alcohol Fatty Liver Diseases, which basically causes the liver to deteriorate.
"We've been monitoring him quite carefully over the last several years and it comes to the point where now this is the time where transplant is a solid opinion for him," said Diana's physician Dr. Edward Croen.
It could be months before a donor is identified and Diana could be called for surgery at a moment's notice. The operation and recovery period might take 10 to 12 weeks.
A plan has been set up to ensure the County's day-to-day business goes smoothly when Diana has to leave. Deputy County Executive James O'Donnell will serve as Acting County Executive.
The back-up plan was explained to legislators in a private meeting.
"I appreciated not only that the County Executive told his health conditions, but also that he has reviewed possible plans for those inevitabilities," said Legislator Jeff Berkman.
Diana has been the County Executive for 12 years and says despite of his health problems, he will run for re-election.