Hayden gets back on track

June 25, 1994|By Robert A. Erlandson | Robert A. Erlandson,Sun Staff Writer

In an article Saturday about Baltimore County Executiv Roger B. Hayden, the identifications of his sister, Joyce Williams, and his daughter, Shelly Hayden, were transposed.

The Sun regrets the errors.

Despite wilting heat and humidity, a chipper Roger B. Hayden bounced back onto the public stage yesterday, joking with reporters about his brush haircut -- which doesn't conceal the ear-to-ear scar across his skull -- and saying he expects to return to work full time the first part of August.

The session at Sparrows Point High School's athletic field was the Baltimore County executive's first encounter with the news media since before his May 23 operation at Johns Hopkins Hospital to excise a mass of malformed blood vessels in the back of his head. He had talked to several reporters by telephone.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

"I'm cured. This is over. It's a done duck," said Mr. Hayden, 49, as he took questions and then walked exercise laps with his sister, Shelly Hayden, and one of his daughters, Joyce Williams. He also said the headaches -- which were the only previous manifestation of his condition -- are gone.

Since he began his recuperative exercise regimen, Mr. Hayden said, he has walked the tracks at several county schools and in various parks. "But this is home," he said, noting that he is an alumnus of Sparrows Point High and that his sister lives nearby. He has been staying with her while recuperating.

The executive said he is eager to return to work but will abide by restrictions his physicians advise. "I'm not going to push harder than the doctors say," he said.

Week after next, Mr. Hayden continued, "I might make a couple of spot appearances in the office." He said he remains in frequent communication with Merreen E. Kelly, the county administrative officer, who is acting executive.

The Republican executive's only other known public appearance was June 14 when he slipped quietly into the Board of Election Supervisors office in Parkville to file for re-election.

Kelly's job is to handle day-to-day county routine, so Mr. Hayden's absence has not caused any snags in government operation, the executive said. "I'm making the major decisions for Baltimore County," he said.

Among the continuing aftereffects of his surgery, Mr. Hayden said, is that he will have to wear glasses for the first time since his youth, to correct an imbalance between near and distant vision.

He said he does not know when, if ever, he will regain full peripheral vision in his right eye.

Also, he still is subject to sudden onsets of tiredness, when he must rest.

But the episodes are growing less frequent, and doctors have told him they eventually will disappear, he said.

Mr. Hayden first was hospitalized May 8 when a blood vessel broke in his brain, causing a headache and a partial loss of his right-side vision. He said the congenital condition was diagnosed 20 years ago but previous ly had caused only headaches.

Doctors said the operation typically involves removing a piece of the skull, surgically removing from the brain's surface the enlarged tangle of blood vessels causing the problem and sealing the remaining vessel endings with heat.

Mr. Hayden said his doctors have told him he is lucky because one of every four people with the condition dies when a blood vessel ruptures; two suffer permanent physical damage; and "only one is as fortunate as I am to recover completely."

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