Norfolk Island's administrator will remain on the Australian mainland until February after what he describes as life-saving surgery.
In a statement, Gary Hardgrave says when he went to Australia for Christmas, doctors detected a tear in his Aorta, the body's main artery that extends from the heart to the abdomen.
Mr Hardgrave says he underwent surgery on December the 30th and has been recovering since.
He says doctors are planning his return to duty on Norfolk Island in a few weeks.
The island's official secretary, Robert McKenzie, is the Acting Administrator.