MESSAGES of support have been flooding in for one of the best-known councillors in Widnes, who underwent emergency surgery in a Turkish hospital after being take ill with a life-threatening brain condition.
Cllr Ted Gleave returned to England on Friday and is in intensive care in Whiston Hospital, having undergone a tracheotomy operation, but is said to be in a 'comfortable condition'.
Cllr Gleave, who is a councillor in the Riverside ward and is believed to be the longest-serving councillor in Halton and was made a Freeman of the Borough, was on holiday with his wife Elsie when he had to undergo two operations to treat a brain embolism in which a blood clot obstructed the flow of oxygen to parts of his brain.
Since Cllr Gleave was taken ill, his family have been in negotiations with an insurance company over the cost of his treatment abroad.
The family said last week that they hoped the negotiations would be resolved quickly, and his daughter Alison Gleave praised the work done by the Turkish surgeons.
Cllr Gleave's son Wesley said last week that he hoped his father would not require treatment in intensive care but the veteran councillor is staying in the hospitals's high-dependency unit, where he was taken after arriving at Liverpool airport by air ambulance.
Alison told the Weekly News: 'He is in Whiston Hospital's high-dependency unit and it is difficult to say how he is progressing - he is sedated but comfortable and communicating. He has had a tracheotomy.
'The surgeons and medical staff in Turkey did a fantastic job.'
She added: 'We have had hundreds of messages of support from his friends, constituents and work colleagues.'
Friends and fellow councillors have been rallying round the veteran councillor and Cllr Tony Mc-Dermott, leader of Halton Borough Council, wished Cllr Gleave a 'speedy recovery' on behalf of the councillors from all political parties.
The 77-year-old Widnesian, of Cholmondley Street in Widnes, who has been a councillor for the past 40 years, was forced to stay in Turkey two weeks beyond the planned duration of the holiday, which should have ended in mid-April.
Embolisms occur when blood clots become detached from the walls of vein or artery and become lodged in a constricted part of a blood vessel - strokes can be a consequence of the blood supply being starved off to parts of the brain.
Wesley added: 'It has not been easy for the family but we are bearing up.'