Congresswoman Dingell Says Medical Emergency Was A Wake-Up Call As She Heals From Emergency Surgery

Jun 4, 2021

12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.
Credit Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

Michigan 12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell says her recent emergency surgery and eight-day hospital stay was a wake-up call for her and her inside view as a patient of our medical system.

She talks with WEMU's Lisa Barry now that she is out of the hospital and on the road to recovery.


12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell had surgery for a perforated ulcer doctors believe was caused by taking over-the-counter painkillers. The congresswoman had previous jaw surgery and was trying to avoid taking prescription pain medications by using Motrin.

She says, being in the hospital, she got a close-up view of the impact of the pandemic on those trying to provide good medical care.

She said, "The nurses and the doctors and the technicians, quite frankly, the housekeeping, the food preparers in the hospital are the heroes of the front line during COVID, and they want to help take care of people, but they are burned out,"

Congresswoman Dingell says as she continues to recover from her medical emergency, she plans to eat healthier and drink water instead of diet soft drinks. Dingell says Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been checking in on her and vows to get her to eat more vegetables! 

She adds she still has plenty of pep and fight in her, and she hopes to be back in the community in mid-June.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu