Rep. Alan Nunnelee, who has been absent from Capitol Hill for the majority of the past year after being diagnosed with a brain tumor in the spring, was moved to home hospice care in Tupelo, Miss., on Monday, according to a source with knowledge of the Republican’s condition.
A local consultant issued a statement from the family Friday confirming the grim news.
In May, doctors found a tumor in the right side of Nunnelee’s brain after he went to the hospital complaining of fatigue. The 56-year-old underwent brain surgery in June to remove the tumor, but suffered a stroke during the procedure, which led to impaired speech and numbness on his left side.
After surgery, Nunnelee underwent chemotherapy and rehabilitation at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center in Baltimore.
The three-term lawmaker was back on Capitol Hill in the fall, using a wheelchair to get around. But when Nunnelee was home in Tupelo for the holidays in December, he was admitted to the hospital to treat a hematoma in his left leg.
Though he won re-election in November by a wide margin, he was unable to leave the North Mississippi Medical Center to be sworn in for a third term. Instead, he took the oath of office from the rehab center on Jan. 12.
This week, doctors released Nunnelee into hospice care, where he is surrounded by his family, including his wife, Tori.
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal published a statement from Morgan Baldwin, the congressman’s campaign consultant late Friday.
“After seven months of bravely fighting brain cancer and a stroke, Congressman Alan Nunnelee was informed last Friday that a new tumor has developed and no further medical treatment is possible,” Baldwin said, according to the newspaper. “On Monday of this week, Alan came home and is resting comfortably with family. The family continues to ask for your prayers and requests privacy out of respect for Congressman Nunnelee.”
Nunnelee came to Congress in 2010, defeating one-term Democratic Rep. Travis W. Childers in the Magnolia State’s 1st District.
Prior to that, he spent more than 15 years in the Mississippi Senate, where he served as an appropriator and stalwart social conservative. In 2003, he spearheaded the successful constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in the state.
On Capitol Hill, Nunnelee is a member of the conservative Republican Study Committee. He also serves on the House Budget and Appropriations committees, where he fought for cost-cutting measures.
In 2011, Nunnelee — who hails from a state often hit hard by hurricanes — voiced support for requiring offsets for disaster relief.
Nunnelee’s 1st District is a safe Republican seat. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried it by a 25-point margin in 2012.
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