By Bob Uphues
Anyone attending the Brookfield Village Board meeting on April 13 might be forgiven for thinking they'd walked through time portal when they saw Brigid Weber sitting in the village clerk's chair.
But Weber, who served as Brookfield clerk from 2006-13, was actually there as an emergency replacement for Village Clerk Cathy Colgrass Edwards, who remains hospitalized and is recovering after surgery at LaGrange Memorial Hospital.
"It was very sudden," said Edwards, who was admitted to the hospital April 4 after suffering severe abdominal pain beginning the previous day. "I was in great health and everything was going fine. On Friday I started not feeling well and wondered if I had the flu, and then all of a sudden I went down."
Instead of the flu, what Edwards was suffering from was an obstruction in her colon. At first, she said, doctors weren't sure if the blockage was the result of Chron's Disease, which Edwards had suffered from in the past, or whether it was scar tissue from previous surgeries.
After waiting a week, doctors decided to operate. That procedure took place April 10. To make matters worse, Edwards had to endure a feeding tube since the day she was admitted until April 14, when it was removed.
"That was the highlight of my stay," joked Edwards.
Finally on Wednesday she was given the go-ahead to consume clear liquids. She hadn't eaten since entering the hospital.
Almost as disappointing as having to be hospitalized, said Edwards, was the fact that she missed her first election, on April 7. Before she went into the hospital, she handed off Election Day duties to others.
Typically, the village's deputy clerk, Theresa Coady, would simply step in to fill Edwards' shoes. But with Coady on vacation Monday, Edwards had to deputize someone to take the village board meeting minutes.
State law requires the clerk to either give written direction naming a deputy or the village board has to pass a resolution if the clerk is incapacitated. So, from her hospital bed, feeding tube still in place, Edwards dictated a letter (she did personally sign it) to the village board naming Weber as her emergency replacement.
Edwards said she hoped to be released from the hospital this weekend, but was unsure if she'd be ready to resume her place at the board table on April 27.
"I may have to miss the next one, but I'd like to think I could take it slow and be at the [April 27] meeting," said Edwards. "It depends on my progress and what the doctors say."
In the meantime, Edwards said she's "slowly improving."