TEMPERANCE — Bedford Township Clerk Bob Schockman said he is taking a medical leave from his job and expects to receive a liver transplant soon at the University of Michigan.
Mr. Schockman said he hopes to have the transplant this week or next and be back to work at the township government center in six weeks. He said he is staying at home and resting until receiving word that a donor organ is available.
“We’re high on the list for the transplant,” he said from his Temperance home Monday. “We were fifth or so earlier. Now we’re in the top three. We expect to have a donor soon. I’m fortunate that I have the University of Michigan and my wife, Joan.”
Mr. Schockman, 62, said his liver has been ravaged by autoimmune disease and has virtually no function.
“It’s dead,” he explained. “Up until a few weeks ago, they [his doctors] were amazed that I was healthy for so long.”
Then tests showed his liver function had dropped precipitously, he said.
Mr. Schockman has been looking haggard recently. He was unable to attend a special board meeting last week at which the township and Sidelines Sports Eatery and Pub, a popular Lambertville bar, agreed on a judgment stemming from a lawsuit the township filed over zoning ordinance violations.
“I didn’t have the energy,” he said.
Township Supervisor Walt Wilburn, who survived throat cancer several years ago, said Mr. Schockman’s colleagues wished him well.
“We wish him all best and will hold the fort down for him until he’s back,” Mr. Wilburn said.
Mr. Schockman became clerk 12 years ago, after serving as a township trustee for four years. He is a retired Michigan parole/probation officer, having run Monroe County’s electronic monitoring program.
He said he is going public with his medical condition because he believes citizens should know why a public official is not on the job.
“I have a responsibility to let everyone know what is going on,” he said.