Rochester, N.Y. --- Congresswoman Louise Slaughter expects to remain in the hospital for another week and a half.
She spoke Tuesday from Strong Memorial Hospital where she is recovering from a broken leg. Two weeks ago while in New York City with her daughter and granddaughter the Congresswoman says she stumbled where a patch of road that was under construction met the sidewalk.
"I was coming out of a trough where they had done some roadwork and the roadwork had been paved over but not up to road level and so it was about an inch deep,” Rep. Slaughter described. “I stepped down into this trough, I made it all the way across but I was looking for my granddaughter and I stumbled getting out of it.”
The fall resulted in a shattered femur just above the knee cap. She was operated on the following day and returned to home to Rochester later that week where she remains at Strong Hospital. At the University of Rochester Medical Center she is receiving a treatment unique to this facility. Rep. Slaughter’s doctor described it as being in the clinical trial phase still but it involves using a drug already approved to treat osteoporosis.
"This drug when used in conjunction with fracture healing makes the bone heal faster,” Stephen Kates MD said of the treatment. “It's an amazing thing, it's a drug that currently is under an FDA trial for this but can be used.”
Slaughter says her goal is to be back in Washington, D.C. by May 1st but she does not expect to leave the hospital for another week and a half. She says she’s doing three to four hours of rehab a day while also staying busy with work from her hospital room. Her doctor expects a full recovery to take three months but she should be walking well before that time.
Slaughter, 82, is running for re-election to Congress against Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, 57, in November. The race is already gaining some national interest and many expect the campaign to be among the most contested in the country.
"I had my first campaign poster made,” Rep. Slaughter joked at Tuesday’s media availability. “It says cast your vote for Louise Slaughter; a leg up on the competition.”
One reporter asked if she was concerned about the public image of a Congresswoman her age, her in a wheelchair, in a hospital, in the early stages of major campaign.
"It doesn't bother me in the least, everybody knows who I am and what I do and I've never been concerned about that,” Slaughter replied. “Most people when they see me, I'm gratified to say, don't know anything about my age and certainly I match them energy component for energy component.”
Slaughter also addressed ongoing rumors that some other health issue may have her rethinking another campaign.
“I wouldn't be running for office if I was about to die,” she chuckled. “I never intend to start anything I can't finish...no I'm going to be running, we're running already!”