A Muscogee County School Board member has been hospitalized after experiencing difficulty breathing.
District 6 representative Mark Cantrell was admitted Saturday to St. Francis Hospital, where he has been undergoing a battery of tests to determine the cause.
In a telephone interview from his hospital bed Tuesday morning, Cantrell told the Ledger-Enquirer that doctors still are conducting tests but they have found fluid in his lungs and determined that he has Type 2 diabetes.
“It’s sort of what you call one of those wake-up calls,” Cantrell said. “When you’re 58 and something bad happens to you like this, you want to pay attention to it if you want to live long.”
Cantrell expects to be hospitalized “one more day at least.”
Saturday, he had “real bad shortness of breath and a 15-minute cough that took everything out of me. My wife and daughter, they said, ‘You’re going to the hospital.’ They got me here, and I’m glad they did, but I never thought I’d still be here three or four days later.”
Cantrell joked that the seemingly continuous flow of nurses drawing his blood “are part vampire.” Then he added, “But they are some of the sweetest people.”
He is waiting for a specialist to assess “damage in my lungs, but they ruled out the heart having any problem.” Meanwhile, he is being taught how to give himself insulin and how to eat healthier.
“Besides being born, this is my first time having to be in the hospital,” Cantrell said. “But I’m going to be back snapping just as soon as I can.”
Cantrell is chief executive officer of Columbus-based storage building and playset company Action Buildings.
Muscogee County School District superintendent David Lewis informed board members about Cantrell’s condition in an email Monday.
“I am writing to apprise you that Mr. Cantrell was admitted to the hospital over the weekend for difficulty breathing,” Lewis told the nine-member board. “He is undergoing a battery of tests to determine the cause. He expects to be discharged from the hospital Wednesday.
“We will update you as we learn more. In the meantime, I know you join me in thoughts and prayers for his full and speedy recovery.”