Former District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry is being released from a rehabilitation facility Wednesday after a 15-day stay.
Barry has had two lengthy hospitalizations this year, fighting infections and other complications from diabetes. After his second hospital stay for a blood infection that made him weak, he was admitted into the MedStar National Rehabilitation Network in an effort to regain mobility. He has a couple more weeks of outpatient therapy to complete, but his doctors say he is largely recovered.
“I am feeling much better and getting stronger every day,” Barry said.
He turns 78 Thursday.
Barry held a news conference Wednesday afternoon in part to dispel rumors about his condition while he was in the hospital and the rehab facility.
“I was never about to die,” he said. “What happens is political enemies make up things, spread rumors.”
He said he still has to work on his endurance. He plans to return to work, but "my health comes first."
This year, Barry was admitted to Howard University Hospital Jan. 11 and released Jan. 27. On Feb. 10 he was admitted to Washington Hospital Center for eight days before transferring to the rehab center Feb. 18, according to his office.
Barry represents Ward 8, the city's poorest ward, on the D.C. Council. He was elected to a third consecutive term in 2012.
In addition to diabetes, he has survived prostate cancer and kidney failure that required a transplant five years ago. In 2012 he had minor surgery for a urinary tract infection.
Barry noted that it's National Kidney Month, and he encouraged everyone to get screened.
This weekend also marks 37 years since Barry was shot in the chest by Hanafi Muslims when they overran at the Wilson Building.