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Jackson Senior Speaks Out On Congressman’s Condition

Rev. Jesse Jackson

Rev. Jesse Jackson (Credit: CBS)

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Bob Roberts is a native of Wilmette who has worked in Chicago media...
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Updated 7/28/12 at 5:18 p.m.

CHICAGO (WBBM/STMW) – Several experts in psychiatry tell the Associated Press that a complicating physical illness may have arisen during the treatment of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. for depression. But the congressman’s father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, won’t confirm it.

Rev. Jackson was reluctant to give any specifics during a Streeterville news conference on an unrelated topic, but said the Mayo Clinic is the best place possible for his son to obtain treatment.

Rev. Jackson credited his wife, Jacqueline, for recognizing first that her son needed help.

“When my wife found that he was in a different place and said, ‘Go to see him,’ quickly I went to see him and took him to the hospital,” Rev. Jackson said. “When the doctors determined there that he needed a longer-term treatment, we took him away. then after this stage of treatment he is now at Mayo, and I hope for his full recovery and the regaining of his strength.”

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Rev. Jackson said his son was “drained” when he went into seclusion seven weeks ago, and asked his son’s supporters to pray for the congressman.

He said that his wife Jacqueline was the first to detect the problem, told him to speak with his son, and said he took the congressman to the hospital.

Rev. Jackson did not indicate if there is any timetable for his son’s treatment or release.

Earlier, at the Rainbow-PUSH weekly meeting, Rev. Jackson said he has spoken with his son lately but tell what was said, or where his son was treated before he was admitted to the Mayo Clinic.

The Chicago Sun-Times quotes sources who said that Rep. Jackson was transferred Wednesday from a facility in Tucson, Ariz., accompanied by his wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson (7).

On Friday, the Mayo Clinic distributed a statement from the congressman that said he had been transferred there for “extensive inpatient evaluation for depression and gastrointestinal issues.” The clinic would not release more information Saturday.

Among the experts who have spoken with the AP is John Anderson of the Associates in Psychiatry and Psychology in Minnesota. He said people receiving psychiatric care are often transferred to the Mayo Clinic when a physical illness develops because both can be treated there. He said specifically that Mayo has a highly-rated gastrointestinal department as well as a free-standing inpatient psychiatric unit.

Jackson’s office released a statement month ago indicated he was undergoing intensive medical treatment at a residential treatment facility for “a mood disorder.”

The timing of the leave has raised questions, in part because Jackson is facing an ethics investigation in the U.S. House connected to imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The House Ethics Committee is investigating allegations that Jackson was involved in discussions about raising money for Blagojevich’s campaign in exchange for the then-governor appointing him to President Barack Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat. Blagojevich is serving a 14-year prison sentence for corruption.

Jackson was not charged and has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.