Richmond schools chief has surgery

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Richmond County schools Superintendent Frank Roberson is recovering after undergoing emergency surgery to relieve brain swelling and pressure, his family said Thursday night.

Frank Roberson: Richmond County schools superintendent's prognosis is good, but his recovery won't be immediate, his family said in a statement.
Frank Roberson: Richmond County schools superintendent's prognosis is good, but his recovery won't be immediate, his family said in a statement.

Roberson had surgery at 7:15 p.m. Thursday at Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where he was admitted Tuesday night after complaining of severe headaches and fatigue.

At 9 p.m. Thursday, doctors reported the surgery went well, according to a family statement released shortly after 10 p.m. by school system spokesman Louis Svehla.

After Roberson was admitted to MCG, doctors observed him and "he was voluntarily placed under sedation in order to administer several tests," the statement said.

"It was determined that Dr. Roberson has an Arteriovenous Malformation in his cerebral region which may have been present since birth," the family said. "AVM, as it is commonly (known), is an abnormal collection of blood vessels (arteries and veins). Often, an AVM is not found until a hemorrhage occurs, such as what Dr. Roberson experienced. Fortunately, the bleeding has been successfully treated."

The statement adds that AVM is rare, affecting just 0.1 percent of the population.

Roberson's prognosis is good, but his recovery won't be immediate, his family says.

"His progress is expected to be gradual and steady over the course of the next few weeks," the statement said. "The family wishes to express its heartfelt appreciation for the thoughts, prayers and well wishes of family, friends, the Richmond County School System and community. Mrs. (Doris) Roberson, daughters and the Roberson family will continue to keep the community updated regarding Dr. Roberson's progress and (they solicit) your continued prayers."

Roberson, 55, was hired as Richmond County's schools superintendent in August. He had most recently served as superintendent of the Marlboro County (S.C.) School District and was associate and interim superintendent in Edgefield County. He worked for 27 years in his native Aiken County, rising to become associate superintendent in that school district.

Earlier Thursday, before Roberson's surgery, Richmond County Deputy Superintendent James Whitson said district employees were keeping Roberson in their thoughts.

"Dr. Roberson is on all of our minds," Whitson said. "I don't think any of us isn't going into a meeting saying, 'What would Dr. Roberson say?'

"He and his family are in everybody's prayers up here. We think of him, and we're pleased he's doing well."

Staff writer Tracey McManus contributed to this article.

Statement by Frank Roberson's family

Here is the text of an e-mail sent to news media at 10:04 p.m. Thursday by Richmond County schools spokesman Louis Svehla, in which he sent a statement by Superintendent Frank Roberson's family:

In the same spirit of communication and community partnership that has characterized Dr. Roberson's tenure as Superintendent, the family is releasing the following statement:

As it has been reported, Dr. Roberson was admitted to MCG Health on Tuesday, February 22, 2011, following complaints of severe headaches and fatigue.  He was conscious and responding well. Upon arrival, following observation by his medical providers, he was voluntarily placed under sedation in order to administer several tests.

It was determined that Dr. Roberson has an Arteriovenous Malformation in his cerebral region which may have been present since birth.  AVM, as it is commonly referred, is an abnormal collection of blood vessels. (arteries and veins).  Often, an AVM is not found until a hemorrhage occurs, such as what Dr. Roberson experienced.  Fortunately, the bleeding has been successfully treated.  According to medical specialists, AVM affects 0.1% of the population.

Test results were released this afternoon which demonstrated the need for emergency surgery.  The procedure is expected to reduce cranial pressure and swelling.  At approximately, 7:15 PM this evening, Dr. Roberson was taken to surgery.  At 9:00 PM, the doctors reported that the surgery went well.  His progress is expected to be gradual and steady over the course of the next few weeks.

The family wishes to express its heartfelt appreciation for the thoughts, prayers and well wishes of family, friends, the Richmond County School System and community.  Mrs. Roberson, daughters, and the Roberson family will continue to keep the community updated regarding Dr. Roberson's progress and solicits your continued prayers.

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Chillen
17
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Chillen 02/25/11 - 10:26 am
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Wow, it sounds serious. I

Wow, it sounds serious. I hope the poor guy is OK.

puppydog
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puppydog 02/25/11 - 10:32 am
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Austin is correct in his

Austin is correct in his information. And Louis Svehla was only forwarding statements he got from the family. He had no hand in the accuracy or inaccuracy of the information.He was at the mercy of the family for that. The only ones who were putting out midleading information were a family member(s). The other family member who spoke to Austin was correct. One faction of the family just wanted to keep the public in the dark, which you can't do when a public servant is involved & whose salary is paid by the taxpayers & especially one who has a very high profile & essential public position.The public does have a right to know the condition of a public figure who is the head of our large school system. Every time Dick Cheney goes into the hospital for heart problems, we get updates on an ongoing basis, which is appropriate. That's just the way it is. I am glad the family finally decided to be more forthcoming with this information. I wish Dr. Roberson a full recovery. He has been very good for Richmond County.

puppydog
227
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puppydog 02/25/11 - 10:41 am
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When the family released the

When the family released the first "official" statement that said Dr. Roberson was in good condition, that was an insult to our intelligence and totally inaccurate & misleading. You don't get trasported from University Hospital to MCG if you're in good condition. I don't think Dr. Roberson would have condoned or approved of his family putting out inaccurate & misleading information concerning his condition. He is a very moral, ethical & forthright man & he would understand the public's right to know for a high profile position such as his. We needed to know the severity of the condition so we would know if he was going to be out for 2 days or 2 months. The school board members needed to know this too so they could make arrangements for someone else to be put in charge and to plan & reschedule meetings that were to take place and had to be postponed. I'm praying for a speedy recovery for you, Dr. Roberson.

Austin Rhodes
2852
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Austin Rhodes 02/25/11 - 10:55 am
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Thanks PUP...I have been

Thanks PUP...I have been doing this for 19 years and some people still don't get it.

Oh well...onward and upward...

Jewel423
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Jewel423 02/25/11 - 11:02 am
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Can we just wish Dr. Roberson

Can we just wish Dr. Roberson a speedy recovery?

luckey
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luckey 02/25/11 - 11:13 am
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Some of these comments are so

Some of these comments are so ridiculous! Who cares who broke the news, who is right, who is wrong? Leave this family alone and let them concentrate on their loved one! It's amazing how depending on who it is, some call for privacy and respect for the family, but in this situation, those same rules do not apply!

Austin Rhodes
2852
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Austin Rhodes 02/25/11 - 11:18 am
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Who broke the news is not

Who broke the news is not really important, getting accurate information to the people IS.

This type of thing occurs somewhere everyday. A public official takes ill/has an accident/dies...etc. It is newsworthy, and it is important to make sure all public statements are honest.

aubaug
62
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aubaug 02/25/11 - 11:26 am
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PLEASE stop arguing about who

PLEASE stop arguing about who reported what and start PRAYING for a wonderful man to return to perfect health! His family needs him. This community needs him!

iLove
626
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iLove 02/25/11 - 12:08 pm
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"it is important to make sure
Unpublished

"it is important to make sure all public statements are honest."

Two things that were missing: Tact & class...tact & class.

Cadence
219
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Cadence 02/25/11 - 01:17 pm
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Austin please for God's sake

Austin please for God's sake stop talking about private family goings on in an effort to say nyah nyah nyah. We don't care if you were first or right or your baseball glove is the bestest, this is about a very sick man. Please stop now.

soldout
1280
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soldout 02/25/11 - 03:24 pm
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two rights dont make a wrong;

two rights dont make a wrong; Austin is right and those encouraging everyone to pray are right. Neither interfers with the other being effective.

Riverman1
82158
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Riverman1 02/25/11 - 06:55 pm
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I tell y'all one thing, I'm

I tell y'all one thing, I'm going to start believing Austin Rhodes when he says something. He said Wednesday morning that Dr. Roberson HAD delicate brain surgery. Thursday night Dr. Roberson has delicate brain surgery. Either Austin is a great gambler or we have some Twilight Zone stuff going on here.

Gov.Palin
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Gov.Palin 02/25/11 - 07:16 pm
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iLove, ‘Two things that were

iLove, ‘Two things that were missing: Tact & class...tact & class.’
Very well stated; these are 2 things most liberals know nothing about.

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 02/25/11 - 10:30 pm
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Prayers for a complete

Prayers for a complete recovery for Dr. Roberson. He is greatly respected and loved by many. Comfort, peace, patience and privacy for his family.

ep30817
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ep30817 03/01/11 - 08:52 pm
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What is important is that

What is important is that apparently he should be able to return to work, and he and his family deserves prayers, and respect.
Otherwise he deserves privacy, as does his family. The fact that he works for the public does not mean the public owns him and every bit of information about him.

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