Exclusive: Former Moorhead Mayor Del Rae Williams speaks for first time since stroke

Photo by: Del Rae Williams - Facebook
Photo by: Del Rae Williams - Facebook

(Moorhead, MN) -- For the first time since she suffered a stroke nearly two months ago, a former Moorhead Mayor is talking about the experience and her road to recovery.

Del Rae Williams talked with WDAY Midday in an exclusive 1-on-1 interview with News Director Kyle Cornell to talk about the process of recovering from the stroke, which she noted came out of nowhere.

"It's been slow-going to this point," said Williams when talking about therapy and getting maneuverability back in her right side. "I am almost able to walk on my own now. I can take some steps, but my right arm has been a bit more frustrating." Del Rae says the good news with her arm though is that for the first time since the medical incident, she moved it just a few days ago.

The stroke came as a shock to the first female mayor in Moorhead's history, considering she has no family history of them.

"I just see people who take six months, a year or even longer to recover, some don't ever recover. I'm just very thankful that I have been recovering from this," added Williams, who also noted that she has seen all of the well wishes and prayers from people not only in the Moorhead community, but across the Fargo-Moorhead metro area.

Despite dealing with a traumatic turn of medical events, Del Rae is still keeping tabs on the City of Moorhead though, and talked about what she considers to be a 'game-changer' in the form of the Community Center Library project.

"Downtown is the heart of the community," said Williams. "And when it is not very active, you feel it. This space can give people a sense of community, but also let them be independent and do their own thing."

Along with praise for the passing of the sales tax to fund the Community Center Library, Del Rae also praised current Mayor Shelly Carlson, whom which she has had several discussions with and given advice to since Carlson took over back in 2020 for departing Mayor Jonathan Judd.

"I think she has the perfect amount of interest and energy to lead Moorhead forward," noted Williams in her overall glowing review of Carlson, who just won her first elected term as Mayor.

Finally, Del Rae offered a bit more advice not only to Carlson, but members of City Council and other city leaders as Moorhead moves into more plans of revitalizing not only Downtown, but the city as a whole.

"I think I'd just say be patient, I think we're going to get there, and if we keep working this will become the Moorhead we all dreamed it would be."

Original Air Date: 
Thursday, November 17, 2022