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Representative Mark DeSaulnier fell when running and was admitted to hospital on March 13, 2020 with a fractured rib and secondary pneumonia. Pneumonia is a common complication of rib fractures as patients cannot breathe deeply, leading to partial lung collapse.
Though he tested negative for COVID-19, sadly his condition has still deteriorated.
DeSaulnier is a 67-year-old active marathoner who was treated for chronic lymphocytic leukemia during his first term (2014-2016) in Congress, a Democrat from the East Bay area.
Pneumonia, whether caused by COVID-19 or a different pathogen, is too often the final chapter in a CLL patient’s life. We pray that this is not the case this time. Being at high risk for serious and even life-threatening complications is why we recommend getting the pneumonia vaccinations and urge aggressive treatment when diagnosed with a bronchial infection, because all CLL patients are immune suppressed.
A friend of the CLL Society had recently been in touch with Rep. DeSaulnier concerning some legislation and his personal response mentioning us was kind and thoughtful. We also admire him for being so transparent about his CLL diagnosis, raising public awareness of CLL.
We send our thoughts and prayers to Rep. DeSaulnier and his family for a full recovery.
Most news coverage does not mention his CLL, but this paper did:
This news serves as a stark reminder that we are vulnerable. The CLL Society is working overtime to respond to this COVID-19 crisis and even more importantly, prepare for the next.