04/15/10 — Ex-Mount Olive official still in hospital

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Ex-Mount Olive official still in hospital

By Steve Herring
Published in News on April 15, 2010 1:46 PM

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Jimmy Kornegay

MOUNT OLIVE -- The family of businessman and former town commissioner Jimmy Kornegay said that he "is holding his own," in the intensive care unit at Wayne Memorial Hospital.

Kornegay, 68, who is listed in serious condition, was moved to the ICU Sunday and was placed on a ventilator. He is in a medically induced coma and is suffering from pneumonia and a kidney infection, his wife, Lorraine, said.

"We have some positive changes and the doctors are very optimistic," she said. "They were able to reduce the pressure on his ventilator last night. We are feeling very optimistic, but some problems do remain."

Kornegay has been hospitalized since April 6 after spending the night lying on the ground after he attempted to walk out of a wooded area west of town after his truck became stuck.

He was being treated at Wayne Memorial Hospital for dehydration, fire ant bites and sunburn and the family had thought he might be released after only a few days in the hospital. However, his condition worsened, and he was moved to the ICU Sunday.

Mrs. Kornegay said Thursday morning doctors have taken Kornegay off blood pressure medicine and that his blood sugar level "is closer to the level they expect it to reach."

She said he seemed to be aware of family members who were visiting him.

Kornegay was found just before 11 a.m. on April 6 following hours of searching using a Highway Patrol helicopter and a private plane from Pikeville-based Wayne Aviation.

Mrs. Kornegay said he had gone to the area off West Main Street Extension to look at a pond as possible "fishing hole" for him and their grandchildren.

His truck became stuck, and Kornegay, who did not have his walker or cane with him, and whose cell phone did not work, tried to walk back to the road before he finally fell to the ground and rolled about 200 yards.

Mrs. Kornegay said her husband was alert and talking when he was found.

He told her that during the night that two coyotes came within about 50 feet of him and that he yelled at them and they ran off into the woods. When he was found, he was conscious, and immediately asked Fire Chief Steve Martin about the outcome of the NCAA basketball championship game.

"We are just feel so grateful at the outpouring of prayers, cards, calls, everything that everybody has done," Mrs. Kornegay said. "We feel wrapped in the love of family, church and community, even the people who came by who did not even know him before this happened."