House Majority Whip Steve Scalise remains in critical condition but is showing signs of improvement after sustaining injuries during a shooting at the GOP’s congressional baseball practice Wednesday, Dr. Jack Sava, the director of trauma at MedSTAR Washington Hospital Center, said Friday.
Scalise, 51, underwent two surgeries after being shot in the hip, receiving multiple blood transfusions after suffering blood loss. Sava said that doctors have controlled internal bleeding and stabilized his vital signs, but the bullet caused substantial damage to “bones, internal organs and blood vessels and nerves.”
“I feel a lot more confident and a lot more optimistic than I did two or three days ago,” Sava said, adding the congressman’s condition “was as critical as you can be when he came in.”
Sava said Scalise was initially awake, but was in shock due to severe blood loss upon arriving to MedSTAR Washington Hospital via helicopter.
The shooter, 66-year-old James Hodgkinson, took aim at roughly two dozen lawmakers at a baseball field in Alexandria, Va., wounding five people — including a two Capitol Police officers, a congressional staffer and a lobbyist.
GOP lawmakers told reporters that Scalise attempted to drag himself out of the line of fire after being struck, leaving a trail of blood in the process.
“We are especially appreciative of the strong outpouring of love and support from our neighbors, friends, from Louisiana and across the country, as well as from President Trump, Vice President Pence, and all of Steve’s colleagues who have reached out to us during this most challenging time,” Scalise’s wife Jennifer said in a statement delivered by the congressman’s Chief of Staff Brett Horton at the hospital Friday. “Most importantly, we are forever grateful for the heroism of Special Agents Crystal Griner and David Bailey, who saved the lives of everyone at the baseball field that morning, including Steve’s. Crystal and David have been family to us for years, and we ask that you continue to pray for their full recovery.”
Sava confirmed that Scalise will have to undergo additional surgeries and still faces serious risks, such as infection, but is hopeful that he will make a full recovery.
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