Cumberland Coun. Stephen Blais is on the mend after suffering a heart attack on the morning of Jan. 7, his family says.
Blais, one of the youngest councillors at age 32, was taken to the Monfort Hospital by ambulance after collapsing at a gym in the mid-morning, said city spokesman Michael FitzPatrick. He was transferred to the Ottawa Heart Institute later that day and received surgery, Blais’ family said in a statement released by the city.
“After suffering a heart attack while exercising this morning, Councillor Stephen Blais is on the mend at the heart institute, where he is receiving world-class care,” reads the statement, which was sent out on the evening of Jan. 7.
“Stephen and his family would also like to thank all the well-wishers for their support and kind words during this time and that he is looking forward to returning to work as soon as possible,” the statement continues.
Blais’ family also thanked the two hospitals, Ottawa firefighters, paramedics and the staff at GoodLife Fitness at Place d’Orléans.
Blais’ fellow east-end Coun. Bob Monette sent his support to his colleague.
“Hopefully everything goes well,” Monette said. “He’s very young.”
Monette hadn’t received an update on Blais’ condition on Monday afternoon but he said he believes Blais was a relatively new gym-goer. The two councillors had a conversation in the fall about trying to shed a few pounds and Blais said he planned to watch what he eats.
Blais is in his first term as a city councillor after being elected in October of 2010. Prior to that, he served as a trustee for the Catholic school board from 2006 to 2010.
Blais and his wife, Marta, and young son Stephen Jr. live in Convent Glen. Blais was raised in Queenswood Heights and Fallingbrook and helped found the St. Peter High School Alumni Association and served as president of the Queenswood Heights Community Association.
Blais’ professional career has seen him work in the Privy Council office and in the office of the provincial Minister of Consumer and Business Services and at the Ottawa Hospital Foundation and Carleton University. He holds an honours undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Ottawa.
Updated Jan. 8, 4 p.m.