Ald. Sandi Jackson said Thursday that doctors have yet to figure out the proper mix of medications for ailing U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., leaving uncertain the timing of his return to Congress.
Jackson took medical leave June 10 and within days had checked into a treatment facility in Arizona. Since July 27, he’s been at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where doctors say they are treating him for depression and gastrointestinal issues.
“At this point, we are taking every day one day at a time,” said Ald. Jackson, 7th, the congressman’s wife. “But we here on the ground are preparing for his eventual return. We don't know when that's going to be, but we want his constituents to know that they are very much on his mind.”
Mayo doctors continue to search for “the right combination of medications that will get him back to us sooner than later,” she added during a brief South Side news conference held a day after indicating to the Sun-Times that she hoped the congressman would return home around the start of September.
Rep. Jackson is the oldest son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Chicago-based civil rights leader. At one point, the younger Jackson was considered a rising political star.
But now the 47-year-old veteran lawmaker faces a House Ethics Committee investigation into allegations that a longtime friend offered former Gov. Rod Blagojevich up to $6 million in campaign cash to appoint Jackson to President Barack Obama's seat in the U.S. Senate.
Jackson, who easily won a hard-fought primary in March, has denied any knowledge of fundraising in exchange for the appointment. He is on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.
Before Jackson went to the Arizona facility, he suffered from depression, “extreme exhaustion” and a lack of proper nutrition, Ald. Jackson said. For nearly eight years, he has had “stomach ailments,” in part because of undergoing “duodenal switch” weight-loss surgery, she said.
Mayo doctors also “are looking at that aspect of his illness,” Jackson said. “They are still running tests.”
But she said her husband was “getting better” and talking to their children every morning and evening.
“We know that of the millions of Americans that suffer from depression, many go back to work and live very fruitful lives,” she said later. “I expect Jesse will too.”