MYRTLE BEACH — Mayor John Rhodes is expected to make a full recovery after having surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain Saturday morning at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, said city spokesman Mark Kruea.
Rhodes, 69, was initially admitted to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center on Thursday afternoon when his blood pressure spiked. Concern over complications from the condition and a possible brain aneurysm sent him to MUSC for further testing Friday that led to the weekend surgery.
City Councilman Mike Chestnut said he spoke to Rhodes Friday night.
“He sounded pretty positive and pretty upbeat,” he said. “Hopefully, he’ll be coming home soon.”
Rhodes, who is in his second term as mayor after first being elected in 2005, is expected to return to Myrtle Beach early next week, Kruea said.
Rhodes is executive director of the Beach Ball Classic, the annual basketball tournament that continued with semi-final games Saturday night at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. There was a buzz around the games both Thursday and Friday when people noticed the mayor wasn’t in his usual courtside spot.
“When you think about the Beach Ball you immediately associate it with John Rhodes,” said Tommy Johnson, eight-year coach of the tournament host Socastee High boys’ basketball team.
Rhodes has spent the final week of each year since the Beach Ball Classic moved to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in 1994 sitting at his customary chair along press row or roaming the convention center.
“It’s just strange when you’re here for two or three days and don’t see him at all because this is just his passion and his love and it has gotten to be where it is because of John Rhodes, so it is strange him not being here,” Johnson said Saturday. “Thank the Lord I heard today the procedure went well so he’ll be back with us.”
Encouraging messages were shared on Facebook pages for both the Beach Ball Classic and the mayor’s wife Terri Springs Friday evening. Both showed pictures of the mayor in the hospital saying he was “doing just fine.”
Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381.