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Dave Roepke, Published May 22 2011

Judge Davies in intensive care with pancreatitis

FARGO – Battling severe pancreatitis, Fargo Municipal Judge Thomas Davies has been hospitalized and in intensive care since May 12, his family says.

In postings on the online journal CaringBridge.org, Davies’ family says the city judge had initially thought he had a stomach virus but was diagnosed with a pancreas inflamed due to an unknown duct blockage.

For most of the 10 days he has been in the ICU at Sanford Health, Davies has been sedated and intubated, but he was off sedation and able to breathe on his own for a while Saturday morning, his family wrote.

On Thursday, family said Davies’ pancreas had lost 90 percent of its viability, and the inflammation had caused his stomach to be distended, creating breathing trouble. He was deemed to be in “guarded” condition on Thursday.

A post Friday afternoon said Davies is not allowing visitors from outside the immediate family, but his family reads him cards and emails when he is up for it.

In a CaringBridge entry on Friday, a family member said the second-generation judge hit a big milestone. He flipped a family member the “bird,” also known as the middle finger. Diane Davies, his daughter, said it was delivered with love, a sign of progress and a “clear demonstration of his fighting spirit.”

Davies, 72, presides over Fargo’s Municipal Court, which has jurisdiction on many minor offenses. He’s the son of former federal judge Ronald Davies, who is famous for his rulings in 1957 integrating the public schools in Little Rock, Ark.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Roepke at (701) 241-5535