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Former Utah lawmaker recovering from brain surgery

Paul Ray
Posted at 10:38 PM, Dec 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-29 00:38:17-05

Former Utah Rep. Paul Ray is in the hospital for a brain bleed, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Tuesday.

Ray says he had a severe headache over the weekend, and his daughter urged him to go to the emergency room, which ultimately saved his life.

“This proves all of the Democrats wrong because it proves I do have a brain,” Ray joked as he spoke via phone from his hospital bed on Tuesday evening.

Ray, who led the Legislature’s redistricting effort this year, resigned his seat in the Utah House on Dec. 15 for a position with the Utah Department of Health and Human Services. Ray also wrote the “pandemic endgame” bill that ended most of Utah’s COVID-related restrictions in April. He was replaced by Karen Peterson, Gov. Spencer Cox’s legislative liaison.

“It started as a headache and got progressively worse. I thought, who goes to the ER for a headache? The doctors said I wouldn’t have made it through the weekend if I hadn’t come in,” Ray said.

Ray underwent emergency surgery to fix the problem.

He explained he’s been on blood thinners for another condition, and bleeding in his brain has always been a possibility.

Ray tells The Tribune his prognosis is good, and his doctors expect a full recovery.

"We are monitoring and hoping for the best outcome for Paul and his family through this unexpected health challenge," a spokesperson for the Department of Human Services said in a statement.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family," added Utah Sen. Scott D. Sandall, who was Ray's co-chair on the legislative redistricting committee.