Nunnelee stroke recovery continues

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Nunnelee

By JOE RUTHERFORD

Daily Journal

U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee, R-Miss., has revealed that he suffered a stroke when undergoing surgery for a brain tumor earlier this summer.

He is making progress in his recovery from both, he said, but his timetable for returning to his Washington office remains uncertain.

The stroke caused impaired speech and weakness on his left side, Nunnelee said in a statement released late Sunday night, and he continues to undergo therapy for both.

He is expected to conclude radiation and chemotherapy at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center in Baltimore the last week in August, spokeswoman Elizabeth Parks said Monday.

The surgery was performed June 9 at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Nunnelee later went to a rehab center at TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.

Nunnelee transferred in late June to Johns Hopkins for the radiation treatments, chemotherapy and physical rehabilitation.

Parks said in an earlier published report that Nunnelee hoped to return to his office after Labor Day, but she said Monday, “He is on track to finish chemo and radiation the last week of August. He will continue rehabilitation for his mobility and speech; I will keep you posted on the timeline.”

Nunnelee, in his statement, said, “On Friday, Aug. 1, I moved to the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center where I am continuing radiation and chemotherapy as well as speech and mobility rehabilitation for several more weeks. Two months after surgery, I am happy to be in the outpatient phase of recovery.

“Tori and I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of support over the last several months. Thank you.”

Nunnelee also said, “I knew recovery from surgery was going to be challenging, but nothing could have prepared me for what has been difficult stroke rehabilitation. On June 9, during the surgery to remove the tumor, I suffered a stroke that left me with impaired speech and weakness on my left side. In spite of the stroke and its consequences, the surgery was successful.”

Nunnelee said that his health challenges have caused him to draw encouragement from his faith and the scriptural admonition to “give thanks in all circumstances.”

“Through the entire process of being diagnosed with a brain tumor and having surgery to remove it, I have learned the power of the attitude of thanksgiving.”

Nunnelee, 55, is in his second term representing Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District. He faces Democrat Ron Dickey and two other candidates in the Nov. 4 general election.

joe.rutherford@journalinc.com

Here is Nunnelee’s statement:

Dear Friends,

On Friday, August 1, I moved to the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center where I am continuing radiation and chemotherapy as well as speech and mobility rehabilitation for several more weeks. Two months after surgery, I am happy to be in the outpatient phase of recovery.

Tori and I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of support over the last several months. Thank you.

I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Through the entire process of being diagnosed with a brain tumor and having surgery to remove it, I have learned the power of the attitude of thanksgiving.

I knew recovery from surgery was going to be challenging, but nothing could have prepared me for what has been difficult stroke rehabilitation. On June 9, during the surgery to remove the tumor, I suffered a stroke that left me with impaired speech and weakness on my left side. In spite of the stroke and its consequences, the surgery was successful. I am glad the scripture in Thessalonians does not say to give thanks for all circumstances because I would have a difficult time being thankful for a tumor or a stroke, much less both. I have learned the way to approach the difficulty of stroke rehabilitation is to give thanks in all circumstances.

I am thankful for a loving and merciful God who has sustained and nourished me through His word. He has given me peace that passes all understanding, courage to face each day and the strength to endure the strenuous course of rehabilitation I have been on.

I am thankful to be walking this path holding the hand of my bride of 32 years. I cannot imagine going through this trauma and recovery without Tori by my side cheering me on. She has been my private nurse, a faithful friend, healthcare advocate and a source of comfort. Her positive can-do attitude keeps me motivated.

I am thankful for family and friends who encourage me with their favorite prayers and favorite scriptures. I also appreciate the phone calls, cards, flowers, emails, text messages and visits – your presence in my life is humbling.

I am thankful for other men and women who have walked a similar road of rehabilitation like Senator Mark Kirk and Bill Hawks, who have reached out to encourage me. Their personal triumph inspires me to keep working through the difficulty of intensive occupational speech and physical therapy.

I am thankful for a team of very talented and caring medical professionals who have worked cohesively to help me gain back my speech and mobility.

I am thankful for the dedicated and talented men and women on my congressional staff. Their loyalty to the people we serve is so evident by their continual attention to and support of the issues that affect Mississippians. They have kept me informed, have sought my counsel and have faithfully communicated with me during my illness. My team understands how thankful I am to represent the First Congressional District of Mississippi.

I am thankful to have your encouragement and understanding as I get well.

Rather than continually asking the question, “why did this happen to me,” an attitude of thanksgiving allows me to approach the hard work of stroke recovery with resolve and determination.

I am thankful in this circumstance and pray you find yourself doing the same.

Stay in touch and God bless,

Alan Nunnelee