Heart transplant brings challenges, long recovery

Roanoke | Mike Gangloff

Jim Politis (left) displays hemp stalks during a General Assembly hearing earlier this year as Del. Joseph Yost, R-Pearisburg, looks on. The state legislature approved hemp legislation — a cause Politis fought to achieve for years. Politis has been fighting for his own life over the past few months. - Richmond Times-Dispatch | File January

Jim Politis has a new heart – but it’s taking longer than expected for the former Montgomery County supervisor to get back to his home.

Politis, a buffalo farmer, hemp advocate and former chairman of the county board of supervisors, has been a patient at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville for about two months. He underwent a heart transplant on Oct. 27 and is slowly emerging from an array of complications that have included two additional major surgeries, his wife Jan Politis said last week.

Politis remains on a ventilator that prevents him from speaking, and has a long list of physical and financial challenges ahead, his wife said. Continue reading