After the record flooding in June, the mayor of Cedar Rapids was caught by the public nodding off during city council meetings. Kay Halloran says she’s been to the doctor for a check up. She revealed details of her medical condition Wednesday night.
Halloran says she learned Monday that she’s been diagnosed with sleep apnea. The 72-year-old Halloran says her problems started 8 years ago when she suffered a mini-stroke. She was placed on blood thinners and advised to see a doctor once a month. But with the flood, Halloran says she forgot about the checkups, was not getting enough sleep and didn’t realize she was dozing off on the job.
"I come back up and everything is fine…I don’t even realize that I was unconscious for a moment," Halloran said. According to the National Institute of Health, sleep apnea affects 12 million Americans.
"It makes you more fatigued and it reduces your interest and ability to concentrate," Halloran said. She will now be outfitted with a special mask that helps those suffering from sleep apnea breathe more deeply so they can sleep correctly. Some flood victims in Cedar Rapids have been critical of Halloran and think she should step down.
"If I was sleeping on the job, I’d be fired. Anybody would be fired sleeping on the job," resident James McKiernan told KCRG-TV. Halloran says her sleep apnea symptoms should disappear soon and she has no plans to resign.