Rep. DeSaulnier says he was crossing a road in Washington, D.C. on March 4 when the ordeal began. "I sort of kicked it in to get through the intersection and I took a fall," said DeSaulnier in a video posted on his Facebook page. "I was carrying my cell phone in my right hand. I would advise against doing that. I tucked my elbow as I flew through the air and landed on my ribs. I broke multiple ribs and hurt my spleen and was in quite a bit of pain."
The Congressman says he went to the doctor the next day and was prescribed pain medication. Ten days later he returned to the doctor and was immediately rushed to the hospital.
He ended up spending five weeks in the intensive care unit. Four of those weeks, he was on a ventilator. At one point doctors called his family and said there was little hope he would recover. "On a key night, my doctors called my sons and told them that my organs were breaking down and that there was little they could do but they wanted to try a dated medical procedure to try to take pressure off my organs," DeSaulnier said.
The procedure worked, "eventually my eyes opened, I was able to have a conversation with the medical staff and my family." He said he spent two weeks in rehab doing cognitive, occupational, physical and speech therapy. DeSaulnier is now recovering at his Washington, D.C. home.
The Mercury News reports Rep. DeSaulnier plans to resume work remotely this week by participating in House committee hearings.
He will continue to receive treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He has tested negative for novel coronavirus and is encouraging people to maintain social distancing.