In a telephone interview, the 54-year-old mayor of Danbury said he and his doctors are confident he can avoid another seizure by taking his medication and altering a diet that he conceded was heavy on soda and junk food. He planned to attend a St. Patrick’s Day event Saturday and resume campaigning Monday.
“I don’t think a seizure is a disqualifying ground for governor,” Boughton said. “I can manage it.”
Boughton’s campaign initially downplayed the incident, circulating a statement from the UConn Health Center stating he was treated for dehydration and released Friday. It made no mention of a seizure, and his campaign manager, Marc Dillon, said in an interview before Boughton spoke that he was under the impression Boughton didn’t have one.
After an afternoon of resting at home, Boughton confirmed what witnesses said they saw the previous night — his collapse at a crowded forum in Avon was, indeed, a seizure.
“There was a seizure. The dehydration triggered the seizure,” Boughton said. “It was severe, and it was scary. But it was the combination of a very hot room and the fact I drink soda, diet soda, instead of drinking water.”
Boughton said his seizure came after seven days of hard campaigning. He said the seizure, and the lecture UConn doctors delivered to him, were a wake-up call.
“I need to pay attention. It’s easy not to pay attention. I’m not 18 any more,” Boughton said. “I’m going to live a different lifestyle. People around me know I’m a fast-food junkie. Those days are over. I have to stay fully hydrated, follow doctors’ orders. And I’ll be fine.”
UPDATE 3:45 PM: Ryser (HEARST): "It's full steam ahead!"
“It’s full steam ahead,” Boughton said on Friday after being discharged from University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington. “The big lesson here is you are going to see a healthier Mark Boughton - eating the way I am supposed to and getting enough water to drink.”
Boughton planned to preside at an annual St. Patrick’s Day event in Danbury on Saturday, and take Sunday off to “recharge my batteries” before returning to work on Monday.
One of the other gubernatorial candidates, Rep. Prasad Srinivasan, R-Glastonbury, was among the physicians present who tended to the 54-year-old Boughton. Srinivasan, an allergist, said the candidates were mingling with voters in a ballroom at the North House after the speaking program when he heard shouts for doctor.
“I ran to the back of the room, the entire distance of the ballroom to find Mark on the floor, actively having a seizure,” Srinivasan said in a telephone interview. “His face was blue, bluer than blue. His pulse was very feeble. I turned his head. The position of the head made a big difference. I started giving him cardiac resuscitation.”
Srinivasan said three physicians and a nurse at the event treated him. Boughton’s color quickly improved, then the mayor become aggressive. The medical personnel restrained him until paramedics arrived.
“He just wanted to get up,” Srinivasan said. “I tried to calm him down.”
Srinivasan said Boughton was conscious, but not alert after the seizure. He said after the agitation passed, Boughton appeared to fall into a postictal state, a condition common after the seizure that can be marked by drowsiness and confusion.
UPDATE 11:45 PM Mark Boughton's 2017 mayoral opponent released the following statement (via Facebook):
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, who had brain surgery last summer, had a seizure Thursday evening during an Avon Republican Town Committee event.
Boughton, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, was given CPR by Rep. Prasad Srinivasan, who is also running for governor and is a doctor.
According to Srinivasan, Boughton had a seizure and was actively seizing when he ran to help. He said he got someone to hold Boughton’s head so that his tongue didn’t block his airway and he started doing chest compressions. After the chest compressions, Srinivasan said, the color started to return to Boughton and his pulse came back.
“He was practically blue, but his pulse came back pretty strong,” Srinivasan said, adding that Boughton regained consciousness and was conscious when EMTs arrived.
"He was having a seizure,'' said Srinivasan, who is an allergist. "His pulse was very, very weak. We gave him CPR, and he continued to seize. ... He was actively seizing. ... He was in some form of cardiac arrest because he had a very, very feeble pulse.''
Boughton’s rivals were said to be in a state of shock. Observers said Boughton was revived and was alert when taken by ambulance to UConn Health.
“I just heard somebody yelling for a doctor,” said Dave Walker, the former U.S. comptroller general and fellow gubernatorial candidate. “He did have to have CPR.”
Walker said Boughton appeared to be stabilized as he was transported to the hospital.
“We’re obviously all praying for him and hoping for a full and speedy recovery for him,” he said. “It obviously put a big damper on the night.”
Mark Lauretti, Boughton’s mayoral counterpart from Shelton and another competitor for governor, said it was very upsetting.
“Everybody was mingling and the next thing he was on the ground,” Lauretti said. “It was a scene that gives you pause when you see someone who you’ve known for years and have played golf with for years in an unnatural condition. The best thing that could happen was they cleared the room and let qualified people do what they need to do.”
04.25.22 (RADIO): WSHU Latino group call on Connecticut lawmakers to open a Danbury charter school
06.03.22 (OP-ED): KUSHNER: "Career Academy ‘a great deal for Danbury"
On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.
The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.
Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.
Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.