JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi congressman who is recovering from a series of health problems took his oath of office Monday while hospitalized in his hometown.
Republican Rep. Alan Nunnelee was accompanied by family members as he was sworn in by U.S. District Judge Michael Mills at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, said his spokeswoman, Elizabeth Parks.
Nunnelee had a stroke while surgeons were removing a tumor from his brain in June. The 56-year-old was admitted to the Tupelo hospital Dec. 28 for treatment of a hematoma, a bleeding problem in his left leg. He was too ill to go to Washington last week to be sworn in for his third two-year term, so House leaders agree he could take his oath in Mississippi.
Parks said Nunnelee has been moved to the hospital's rehabilitation wing, where he will restart therapy for speech and movement. She said doctors have not said when the congressman will be discharged.
"The physical stress of the hematoma and the disruption to regularly scheduled speech, occupational and physical therapy has taken a physical toll on Nunnelee," a news release from his office said Monday. "According to doctors, this is not unusual in the recovery process."
Nunnelee underwent chemotherapy and radiation during the summer. He returned to work in Washington during parts of November and December, and the hematoma was found during the holidays.
Nunnelee served in the state Senate from 1995 until he unseated Democratic U.S. Rep. Travis Childers in 2010. During his final years in the state Capitol in Jackson, Nunnelee was chairman of the state Senate Appropriations Committee.