GOSHEN – With his wife Mary and daughter Danielle by his side, Orange County Executive Edward A. Diana announced in a recent press conference that he is in need of a liver transplant and his name has been added to the organ transplant list. The County Executive has a condition called Non-Alcohol Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) that has deteriorated his liver and led to the need for a transplant.
"Let me first assure you that I feel well and am as committed as ever to the job of County Executive and service to the people of Orange County," said Diana. "My doctors at Crystal Run Healthcare and at Columbia Presbyterian, where the procedure will be performed, have advised me that this condition will cause continued deterioration of my liver. My overall health is good and my lifestyle is active making this the best time to pursue this option and have a positive outcome," added the County Executive.
The County Executive’s name has been placed on an organ transplant list and he will undergo the procedure when the appropriate liver match has been found. This means that he may be called into the hospital on short notice, or it may be many months before a donor is identified. The timetable is dependent on conditions outside the Executive’s control.
According to his physicians, the surgery and recovery period is expected to last approximately 10 to 12 weeks. During that time, a plan outlined by the Orange County Charter will be implemented to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of County Government during his absence. Deputy County Executive James O’Donnell will serve as Acting County Executive during Diana’s recovery period.
"We are fortunate to have an outstanding leadership team in our County, led by Jimmy O’Donnell, which will make sure that County Government continues to operate as usual. There will be no interruption of programs and services and I am confident that Team Orange will remain committed to meeting the needs of all County residents," said Diana.
Earlier in the day, the County Executive shared his news with the Orange County Legislature, other elected officials, as well as County Commissioners and Department Heads.
"My prognosis is great and my doctors expect no less than a 100% recovery for me. After the procedure, I look forward to resuming my role and responsibilities as County Executive for many years to come," Diana said. "I believe Orange County is the best place to live, work, and raise a family and I remain as committed as ever to making sure it stays that way. I appreciate the thoughts and prayers of the community at this time."
Diana concluded the press conference by turning the podium over to his personal physician, Dr. Edward Croen, a board-certified gastroenterologist from Crystal Run Healthcare, who explained NAFLD, the procedure, and what can be expected.
NAFLD occurs when a person’s liver has trouble breaking down fats and results in a build-up of extra fat in liver cells that is not caused by alcohol. It is normal for the liver to contain some fat, however, if more than 5 to 10% of the liver’s weight is fat, then it is called a fatty liver.