Senator Ophelia Ford in Hospital Again

On February 5, 2010, in News 2010, by Mark Norris

Reported by: April Norris,
February 5, 2010

MEMPHIS, TN — There’s conflicting stories surfacing about state senator Ophelia Ford’s health.

Her colleagues said her family told them her illness is severe and she’s not expected to return to Nashville “anytime in the near future.”

But, her brother Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford says that’s not the case.

Senator Ophelia Ford has been battling health problems for the last few years. She’s back in the hospital.

Family members say the Memphis democrat suffered complications from surgery.

Mayor Ford says, “I have talked to Ophelia, she was resting well, we hope for her to be out of the hospital very soon.”

We caught up with Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford this morning during his meet and greet. He says he thinks she’ll return to Nashville in a week to ten days.

Senator Ford missed the legislature education reform session last month because of “flu like symptoms.”

She missed most of the 2007 session from “chronic anemia,” a blood disorder.

Senator Mark Norris says a member only has to notify the Lt. Governor if health problems cause them to be away, which she did. Otherwise, there are no rules.

Senator Norris says, “So, it’s up to each individual member to make that determination, if they don’t, the voters will do to for them.”

There are 33 members in the senate. On a good day, the democrats have 14, but with her gone it’s 13. So, they need the help of the 19 republicans to get things passed.

Senator Norris says,” We just hope for her speedy recovery and stay tuned.”

Mayor Ford says his sister’s illness should be treated like anyone else’s and she doesn’t plan to step down.

In 2008, senate democrats withdrew a bill that would have allowed temporary replacements for sick lawmakers.

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