After tumor surgery, Jose ‘Pepe’ Diaz home recovering, ‘in good spirits’
Image via AP.

Diaz hopes to be back to work soon.

Miami-Dade Commission Chair Jose “Pepe” Diaz is home and “in good spirits” after undergoing surgery last week to remove a benign tumor near his brain, his office said in a press note Monday.

“Chairman Diaz would like to thank the entire staff at Jackson Memorial Hospital for their incredible work,” staff wrote. “He is thankful to surgeons Dr. Jacques Morcos and Dr. Fred Telisci along with their teams for their professional care and kindness to him and his family. He would also like to thank everyone for all their well wishes, and he hopes to be able to get back to work very soon.”

Diaz had a scheduled, nonemergency operation Thursday to excise an acoustic neuroma, a noncancerous and usually slow-growing tumor that develops on a cranial nerve connecting the inner ear to the brain.

The surgery was a success, Diaz’s chief of staff, Isidoro Lopez, told Florida Politics on Friday.

Diaz’s peers on the 13-seat county legislative body unanimously elected Perez chair in November. Since then, he has often asked others to speak up while presiding over the commission, citing problems hearing — a common symptom of acoustic neuroma.

Olga Vega, Diaz’s communications director, said he has also had balance issues for the past several years. Acoustic neuroma, also called vestibular schwannoma, grows on the balance and hearing nerve. If unremoved, it can grow large enough to press against parts of the brain to become life-threatening.

The surgery marked the second major health incident for Diaz in a month’s time.

On July 11, Diaz’s office announced that he and Lopez had tested positive for COVID-19 after Diaz had been helping local officials at the site of the condo collapse in Surfside.

Both men were vaccinated against the virus.

Diaz is a former member of the U.S. Marine Corps. Before his 2002 election to the Miami-Dade Commission, he served three years as Mayor of Sweetwater, a small city in western Miami-Dade where he lives.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at Jess[email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


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