Local MLC’s close call

WHAT a difference a week in politics can make.

Last Tuesday, Derwent Labor MLC Craig Farrell was sworn in as the 31st President of the Legislative Council.

Just days later he was rushed by ambulance from Parliament House to hospital fearing he was having a heart attack.

On Thursday, just two days after being voted in as the first officer of the Upper House, Mr Farrell felt severe pain in his chest.

With a doctor (Huon Labor MLC Dr Bastian Seidel) and a nurse (Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest) “in the House’’ Mr Farrell was in good hands.

Mr Farrell was convinced to get to hospital as quickly as possible. To the relief of the MP, family,
friends and colleagues, Mr Farrell wasn’t having a heart attack but instead was suffering from a severe case of gallstones causing blockages in his gallbladder.

The pain of the condition is often compared to the pain of a heart attack or indeed labour pain.

Mr Farrell was admitted to the RHH and underwent surgery on Monday.

In characteristic good humour, Mr Farrell posted on Facebook a photo of himself with New Norfolk sports start
Josh Walsh.

“You meet the nicest people in hospital,’’ he said. “Local legend and all-round great person Josh Walsh was in for a bit of a fix up.

“I saw Josh’s post and recognised the décor, it turns out he was just around the corner, as my sporting ability is nowhere near Josh’s it’s probably the only time we will be in the same uniform.”

“Get well soon Champ!’’

In another post, Mr Farrell thanked everyone for their well wishes.

“All is good now and following some minor surgery tomorrow (Monday) everything will be back to normal,” he said.

“I have a blockage to the pancreas that caused quite a pain.”

“The ambulance crew and nurses are fantastic and have looked after me in an exceptional way.”

After being returned as President last week, Mr Farrell said he was humbled.

“As the local member for Derwent I value the opportunity I have to represent my electorate.”

The Derwent Valley can also lay claim to newly elected House of Assembly Speaker Mark Shelton.

Mr Shelton is a Lyons Liberal MP and has previously held the position of speaker.