By BOB OLIVER
DEARBORN — U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-Dearborn) the longest serving congressman in U.S. history, spent nearly four days at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit last week for abdominal pain.
Dingell, 88, admitted himself into the hospital Sept. 8 for treatment and was released Thursday afternoon.
His wife, Debbie Dingell, said the congressman “plans on returning to Washington next week to be a strong democratic vote on several issues he cares deeply about, and he’ll have plenty to say about them.”
He is retiring at the end of his term in December after nearly 60 years of service.
Debbie Dingell, who is running in the November general election to fill the vacated seat, applauded the work of the doctors at the hospital.
“We are lucky they caught an infection early, and thank our great doctors and the wonderful nurses, technicians, and other staff at Fairlane and Henry Ford Hospital,” she said.
John Dingell also posted a message on his Facebook page after the first day in the hospital thanking his supporters.
“Not quite how I envisioned spending my Monday, but thankful for all of your thoughts and prayers,” Dingell said. “Your kind words mean the world to Deborah and me. Looking forward to being out of the hospital soon.”
Dingell was also at Henry Ford Hospital in March for a minimally invasive procedure to correct a recently developed atrial fibrillation, or heart rhythm disorder.
He took office on Dec. 13, 1555, following a special election for the seat representing the 15th District of Michigan. The seat had formerly been held by Dingell’s father, John D. Dingell Sr., who represented the district from 1933 until his death in 1955.
Since then Dingell has been re-elected 29 times despite the re-drawing of district lines several times over the years. Dingell was last victorious in the November 2012 elections where he won the seat representing Michigan’s 12th District.
(Bob Oliver can be reached at [email protected])