The 57-year-old lawmaker and ex-solicitor – currently in his second term representing S.C. Senate District 28 (map) – has had an uneven recovery over the last twelve days, according to an update on his condition provided by S.C. Senate staffer Donna Elder.
Earlier this week, Hembree had to be sedated as his physicians struggled to beat back a blood infection that has gripped his body.
“At the beginning of last week he had some good days but towards the end of the week he had some difficult ones,” Elder wrote in an email to senators. “However it seems that late yesterday and today he has shown some improvement. It appears that his initial medical issue, the brain bleed is recovering well and currently there is no discussion regarding swelling or surgery.”
That’s good news …
Elder added that Hembree sustained “no neurological damage” in the aftermath of the aneurysm – which is excellent news.
There is a complication, though …
“He has developed what doctors are referring to as a blood infection that has set in and is affecting his lungs,” Elder wrote. “They have not ruled out pneumonia as they initially indicated but are looking at other possibilities as well. They did sedate him, inducing a deep sleep in an effort to give his lungs assistance to allow his body to fight the infection. They have also taken cultures to see if they can narrow the scope of the infection.”
According to Elder, Hembree “was awake at the time and assisted in the decision to proceed with treatment in this manner.”
Hembree’s doctors are said to be “cautiously optimistic regarding his recovery at this time,” citing improved white cell blood count, stabilized blood pressure a “slight” improvement in his chest x-rays today.
As we noted in our original coverage of Hembree’s condition, he has “emerged as one of the more even-keeled and level-headed members of the state’s upper chamber – drawing praise from his colleagues on both sides of the aisle.”
Of course, even if he were the most irascible hothead in the State House we would still be praying for him … and encouraging others to do the same.
We received a message from Hembree shortly after he suffered the aneurysm, and were encouraged to learn of his early prognosis for a full recovery.
Obviously his situation has worsened since then, but we have every confidence he will bounce back from this … and be back with his colleagues in the legislature come January.
In the meantime, we would ask our readers to join us in keeping Hembree, his family and friends in their prayers as he battles his way back to health.
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