Congressman Steve Scalise underwent surgery today for an infection he developed while recovering from gunshot wounds to multiple internal organs.
According to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Scalise "tolerated the procedure well." The Majority Whip remains in serious condition.
"Congressman Steve Scalise underwent surgery for the management of infection. He tolerated the procedure well. He remains in serious condition. We will provide updates as appropriate," the statement reads in full.
Scalise and four other people were injured last month when a gunman opened fire on a Republican baseball practice in nearby Alexandria, Virginia. U.S. Capitol Police and other officers returned fire and killed the gunman.
The congressman was struck in the hip and the bullet tore into blood vessels, bones and internal organs. He has undergone several surgeries and had been upgraded to fair condition before this infection.
Dr. John Hunt, Chief of Trauma & Critical Care Surgery at LSU Health Sciences Center, has not treated Scalise, but has treated countless injured patients in the UMC Level I Trauma Center.
"Of all of the patients in the hospital, (patients with trauma to multiple organs) are the most susceptible to complications of all sorts," Dr Hunt explained.
Dr. Hunt says, at this stage of healing, it is very common for patients who have had trauma to digestive organs, to come down with infections, but he says it's usually a good outcome when they are diagnosed and treated.
"We just put a needle and a catheter in, drain out the infection, give the patient antibiotics, and usually they'll do well. On occasion, they do have to be brought back to the operating room, but that's the exception as opposed to the rule," Dr. Hunt said.
And he says the ICU is where Scalise can have constant monitoring and care so the infection doesn't spread throughout his body.
The Scalise family's church and school community, St. Catherine of Siena, sent prayer cards, hosted a blood drive and continues to give special intentions for the congressman's recovery in mass.
"We were sorry to hear that he was ... taken back into ICU, so we continue to pray," said Fr. Ronald Calkins, Pastor of St. Catherine of Siena, in Metairie. "We prayed for him at mass in a very special way this morning, and pray for his continued healing."
And Scalise's doctors did say weeks ago, that this was going to be a long and complicated road to recovery with quite some time in the hospital and then more time in rehabilitation.
A close friend of Scalise tells WWL-TV that he is determined to get back on his feet and is in good spirits. He added that the Majority Whip is overwhelmingly touched and surprised by all the people pulling for him and the notes from people like Eli and Cooper Manning