BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — On Thursday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced that she had been diagnosed with lung cancer.
However, this is not the first time that the 74-year-old Camden native’s health has been the topic of conversation.
Back in 2017, the Alabama Political Reporter ran a story that alleged that in April 2015, Ivey, then the state’s lieutenant governor, was admitted to a hospital in Colorado due to “a series of stroke-like attacks” while she was in Colorado Springs for the Aerospace State Association Annual Meeting. APR used two unnamed “high-ranking government officials” as sources for the story.
In the story, APR alleged that Steve Pelham, Ivey’s chief-of-staff, had threatened an accompanying Alabama State Trooper not to report the incident. Ivey denied the authenticity of the story, saying through a spokesperson to AL.com that she had suffered altitude issues while in Colorado and briefly went to the hospital to be checked out.
However, the alleged incident was brought up again in October 2018 when Spencer Collier, the former head of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, claimed that a member of Ivey’s security detail was removed after he told his bosses she displayed “stroke-like symptoms” during the Colorado trip and that Pelham had tried to cover up the incident.
“You don’t ever repeat political conversations,” Collier told The Montgomery Advertiser. “But it goes from being political conversations to undermining an organization when you give instructions contrary to what the policy provides.”
Collier’s allegations came at a time when Ivey was running against Democratic contender Walt Maddox for office. Following Collier’s claims, the Tuscaloosa mayor held a press conference where he called on Ivey to release her medical records to the public, as well as any communications regarding the alleged incident.
Once again, Ivey denied the allegations, going on to call Maddox’s request a “desperate false attack from a shameless politician who will say or do anything to get elected.”
In her statement Thursday, Ivey said her doctors said her treatment has a high level of success and would have a minimal impact on her schedule.
“Upon consultation with our cancer team and reviewing all options available, Governor Ivey determined that these minimal radiation treatments are her preference,” said Dr. William P. Saliski, Jr. of Montgomery Pulmonary Consultants through a statement released by Ivey’s office. “Governor Ivey has opted for the least invasive treatment which has an excellent cure rate. I expect her to make a full recovery.”