Ogan in critical care after heart attack

GOP leader stable, on life support

Posted: Monday, March 18, 2002

Rep. Scott Ogan remained in critical condition this morning after suffering a serious heart attack over the weekend at his Palmer home.

Ogan, 49, began feeling ill about 10:30 a.m. Saturday, said Linda Hay, an aide to the Palmer Republican. 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.

The ambulance took Ogan to Valley Hospital. He was then transferred by helicopter to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage.

House Speaker Brian Porter said today that he doesn't expect to know for three or four days whether Ogan can return to the Capitol before the May 14 adjournment of the regular session.

"Our latest update is that he is stable," Porter said. "He is still on the life support. And 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 of recovery."

Porter said Ogan won't be able to vote unless he's physically present. But last year, the House arranged for Ogan to be able to observe legislative proceedings while he was hospitalized with a blood clot, Porter said.

Hay said the doctor she spoke with had not made a connection between the blood clot and the heart attack.

Ogan's wife, Janet, and daughter Laura, 16, have been at Providence much of the time since the heart attack, Hay said. Ogan's son Ryan, 18, flew in from work on the North Slope to be with his father.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Janet and Scott's kids," said Rep. Eldon Mulder, an Anchorage Republican.

Ogan is head 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, a Fairbanks Republican, will take over the Oil and Gas Committee, Hay said.

Ogan left Juneau on Friday evening to receive an award as Legislator of the Year from the Alaska Outdoor Council on Saturday night. The council gave Ogan's award to Hay.

The group fights for the interest of sport hunters and fishermen, and the rights of gun owners. The council has been a high-profile opponent of giving rural residents priority in the use of fish and game.

Ogan, a cabinetmaker who has represented Palmer since 1994, is a staunch conservative who has pushed for huge budgets cuts to help cover Alaska's fiscal gap. He opposes giving rural residents a subsistence hunting and fishing priority.

Empire reporter Bill McAllister contributed to this report.

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