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Congressman ready to return to work

U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson is ready to get back to work and will return to the House of Representatives today, three weeks after an emergency colon surgery on Oct. 11.

Wilson underwent a routine screening colonoscopy in Ohio and sustained a potentially life-threatening colonic perforation during the procedure.

Following the major abdominal surgery in Washington that was required to correct the problem and to take care of the resulting infection, Wilson spent a week in the hospital, including five days in intensive care.

At the time of the surgery, Wilson’s surgeon advised him that he would require an additional four weeks for recovery.

“I’m healthy and I’m ready to get back to work for the people of Ohio,” said Wilson, who represents the 6th District.

Hillary Wicai Viers, Wilson’s communication director, said Wilson has been in good spirits during his recovery.

“It’s been a steady recovery and he’s been in good spirits the whole time,” she said. “He’s coming back a week early and I’m convinced it has to do with positive attitude.”

Viers said that despite the perforation during the colonoscopy, the congressman hasn’t changed his mind about the need for the procedure.

“He has absolutely not changed his mind about colonoscopies,” she said. “He believes it is an absolutely necessary screening tool and he’s gets colonoscopies so he can stay healthy.”

She said the statistics of getting a perforation during a colonoscopy is about 1 in a 1,000.

“The statistics vary with age groups,” she said. “So Charlie just drew a bad card.”

Wilson intends to return to a light Congressional schedule starting today. During the coming weeks, Wilson will vote on matters before the House of Representatives, but take a limited number of meetings.

Viers said there are a number of important issues before the House to be voted on including the Water Resources Development Act which President Bush vetoed last week and legislation to fix the Alternative Minimum Tax.

“The Democrats are committed to fixing the AMT so middle class families don’t suffer,” Viers said. “These are big issues so Charlie is coming back at a really important time.”