"Mayor for Life" Marion Barry Hospitalized Just Weeks After 16-Day Stay

Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014  |  Updated 8:49 PM EDT
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Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry remains at Medstar Washington Hospital Center. News4's Tom Sherwood spoke with him Wednesday.

Tom Sherwood

Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry remains at Medstar Washington Hospital Center. News4's Tom Sherwood spoke with him Wednesday.

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D.C. "Mayor for Life" Marion Barry says he's feeling better after being hospitalized Tuesday.

Barry was hospitalized for breathing difficulty and weakness, News4's Tom Sherwood reported. He was visited Tuesday evening by D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, who skipped a mayoral forum to visit Barry for 5 hours.

"I think we all know Marion Barry. If you get him into a political discussion it's like he just grows ten feet!" Gray said Wednesday.

The Ward 8 councilman, who's known for his outspokenness, tweeted Tuesday night that he was being treated for a urinary tract infection. He added that his vitals were doing better and called himself a fighter.

"I'm doing better and better and better. I need to be well and get out of here," Barry told Sherwood Wednesday. "Thank you everybody for your prayers and love for me."

Barry received a kidney transplant five years ago and is also a diabetic.

UTIs and other infections are not uncommon in those who receive kidney transplants as the immunosuppressants they take to prevent organ rejection also lowers the immune system, the National Kidney Foundation says.

Barry seemed to be in good spirits Wednesday, promoting an upcoming kidney drive at Howard University Hospital later this month.

Barry has been hospitalized several times over the past few years, including a 16-day stay in January at Howard University hospital for unspecified treatments.

Barry was elected to a third consecutive term as Ward 8 council member in 2012. He served as D.C. mayor from 1979 to 1991 before he was sentenced to six months in prison for cocaine possession. But the scandal didn't keep Barry from running for office again. He served as mayor again from 1995 to 1999, earning the nickname "Mayor for Life."

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