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Jesse Jackson Jr.’s tumultuous summer

Updated: October 21, 2012 3:00PM



Jesse Jackson Jr. timeline

♦ June 10: Jackson takes medical leave, although his office does not disclose it until two weeks later. His office issues at least 16 news releases in the interim, many quoting the congressman. Later, in August, his wife tells Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed that her husband collapsed at their Washington home, and his brother Yusef took the congressman to George Washington Hospital. “His collapse was D-Day for us,” Sandi Jackson tells Sneed.

♦ June 25: Jackson’s office first discloses that he has been on medical leave for the previous two weeks. In a three-sentence statement, his office reports he is on medical leave for “exhaustion.”

♦ July 5: Jackson’s office releases a five-sentence statement reporting he had checked himself in for treatment of long-term “physical and emotional ailments.” His exact ailment, expected return to work and whereabouts are not disclosed, but more than a month later, the family confirms he was at Sierra Tucson Treatment Center in Arizona, which specializes in mental health.

♦ July 11: Another brief release states Jackson is being treated for a “mood disorder.”

♦ July 13: The congressman’s mother, Jacqueline Jackson, tells a Rainbow/PUSH conference that her son has suffered years of “enormous disappointment” over his failure to become a senator or mayor of Chicago.

♦ July 25: Jackson is quietly transported to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Two days later, his spokesman is still saying, “He is still in Arizona.”

♦ July 27: Jackson first discloses he is at the Mayo Clinic, after Sneed reports it. The clinic releases a statement on Jackson’s behalf saying he is there “for extensive inpatient evaluation for depression and gastrointestinal issues.”

♦ Aug. 3: Ald. Sandi Jackson tells Sneed her husband has been “completely debilitated by depression.” The alderman dispels any rumors that her husband was receiving help for alcohol and drug addiction and says his depression had “not yet been diagnosed as a bipolar disorder.” “But he is still very depressed,” she says.

♦ Aug. 8: Ald. Jackson tells columnist Lynn Sweet that her husband could be home as early as Sept. 1 and will campaign “vigorously” for re-election.

♦ Aug. 13: The Mayo Clinic reports that Rep. Jackson has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and is “responding well to the treatment and regaining his strength.” It also notes that the disorder is “most likely caused by a complex set of genetic and environmental factors” and says that the “gastric bypass surgery” he underwent in 2004 “can change how the body absorbs food, liquids, vitamins, nutrients and medications.”

♦ Sept. 7: Aides announce Rep. Jackson has been released from Mayo and is back with his kids in Washington, D.C. “Yes, he’s home in Washington,” spokesman Rick Bryant said. “Yes, he may be back to work on Monday” when Congress reconvenes.

♦ Sept. 10: Congress returns — but Rep. Jackson doesn’t.



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