Marion Barry, the former mayor of the District of Columbia and councilman since 2005, has been released from a physical rehabilitation facility where he spent 16 days regaining his mobility and receiving treatment for blood and urinary tract infections resulting from diabetes. The councilman has had two other hospitalizations this year; his most recent stay was in the Medstar National Rehabilitation Network.
He was released on Wednesday, a day before his 78th birthday. Before he was discharged, he jokingly said to reporters, “I’m the most popular elected official in the city.” He was certainly in good spirits, and he said that he is determined to serve out the remainder of his term as councilman, which expires in 2016.
He stated that his health condition was not as severe as some had made it out to be. However, he will be putting his health “at the top of the agenda,” and taking more time to care for himself.
Barry admits he had been preoccupied with taking care of everyone else and helping others that he had neglected to look after his own health. He represents Ward 8 on the D.C. Council, and is now on his third consecutive term. The area has been known to be the city’s most impoverished.
The former mayor is gearing himself up for weeks of physical therapy, but he is up to the challenge. He also mentioned that he had managed to climb a flight of stairs successfully, and that he is a fighter. “I guess God gave me a certain amount of courage,” he said.
In 2009, Barry was hospitalized for kidney failure and he underwent an organ transplant. Aside from having diabetes, he is a prostate cancer survivor. He is a controversial figure, being known for his alcohol addiction and drug abuse, among other scandals. He had also been arrested in 1990 for cocaine use during his third term as mayor, and was sentenced to six months in prison.
Marion Barry Has Nine Lives
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