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Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson is recovering at a Chicago rehab center after having gallbladder surgery, according to his spokesman.
Jackson, 79, was admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital with abdominal discomfort on Jan. 29, his Chicago-based Rainbow PUSH Coalition announced Saturday.
“After medical observation, diagnosis and surgery, Rev. Jackson continued with normal recovery,” the statement read. “Because of his Parkinson’s disease, the medical staff at Northwestern has made a normal transfer of Rev. Jackson to the Shirley Ryan Rehabilitation Center for a short period of exercise and therapy.”
The statement did not indicate what procedure the two-time presidential candidate had, but his spokesman, Frank Watkins, told the Associated Press Sunday it was gallbladder surgery.
A message seeking additional comment early Monday from the Rainbow PUSH coalition was not immediately returned.
“Rev. Jackson is continuing his civil rights and organizational work and is in high spirits,” the Saturday’s statement continued. “He’s expected to be home with his family shortly.”
In 2017, Jackson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which claimed the life of his 88-year-old father, Noah Lewis Robinson, in 1997.
“For me, a Parkinson’s diagnosis is not a stop sign but rather a signal that I must make lifestyle changes and dedicate myself to physical therapy in hopes of slowing the disease’s progression,” Jackson said at the time.
Roughly 60,000 Americans are diagnosed annually with the neurodegenerative disease with no known cure, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation.
Nearly 1 million Americans were living with the disorder as of last year – or more than the number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined, according to the organization.
Saturday’s statement also thanked medical staffers for their “terrific care” of Jackson and noted the “good conversation” he had with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris while on the mend.
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