Tri-Valley Congressman Mark DeSaulnier was released from the hospital over the weekend after battling serious pneumonia for more than seven weeks and will continue his recovery at his home in Washington, D.C., his sons announced on Monday.
DeSaulnier, 68, was first admitted to a hospital in the D.C. area on March 13 after developing pneumonia after breaking a rib in a jogging fall. The pneumonia worsened during the first week and he spent weeks in the intensive care unit before his condition started stabilizing.
DeSaulnier's pneumonia was unrelated to the novel coronavirus, according to his family. The Concord Democrat, whose 11th Congressional District includes Alamo and Danville, tested negative for COVID-19 on March 16.
"While he's made truly remarkable progress and has come so far, our Dad still has work to do and we appreciate his friends and constituents affording him time and support as the next phase of his recovery begins," Tristan and Tucker DeSaulnier, the congressman's adult sons, said in a statement on Monday.
Rep. DeSaulnier, a third-term congressman who has nearly three decades of elected service overall in his career, was hospitalized on March 13 to treat complications of pneumonia brought on by a traumatic rib fracture after he fell during a run.
DeSaulnier, who is also a cancer survivor, was originally admitted in serious but stable condition. But his health status deteriorated and he was transferred to the ICU in critical condition, his chief of staff Betsy Arnold Marr announced on March 21.
The congressman spent nearly a month in the ICU, including his 68th birthday on March 31. As his condition began to continually improve, DeSaulnier was transferred out of the ICU on April 13 for treatment elsewhere in the hospital.
He reached the next phase of his medical recovery over the weekend when he was released from the hospital to continue his recovery at his home in Washington, D.C.
"We are so pleased to announce that this weekend, our dad returned home from the hospital. He’s eager to get back to California, but he’ll continue his recovery in Washington, D.C., until his doctors determine it’s safe to fly," Tristan and Tucker DeSaulnier said.
"We want to say thank you, on our Dad’s behalf, to everyone who has reached out and everyone who has been pulling for him," they added. "Your thoughts, prayers and compassion have helped sustain him throughout this experience. We are also eternally grateful to the doctors, nurses, and hospital staff who helped save our Dad’s life."
DeSaulnier, who is seeking re-election to a fourth term this year, earned the top spot in the 11th Congressional District primary election with 71.20% of the vote, with results certified while he was in the hospital. He will face Nisha Sharma, a Republican real estate professional from Danville, in the two-candidate runoff in November.
DeSaulnier has nearly 30 years of public service experience in Contra Costa County, starting on the Concord City Council, then moving to the county's Board of Supervisors and later the California State Assembly and State Senate before being elected to Congress in November 2014.
During his first term in Washington, D.C., DeSaulnier announced in May 2016 that he had undergone successful treatment during the previous year for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.