House Speaker Michael Busch Undergoes Liver Transplant

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Busch filing for re-election in May. Photo via Speaker Michael Busch/Twitter

Four-term Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch got a new liver last night in an operation that will hopefully resolve the longtime state lawmaker’s ongoing health problems.

Busch, 70, announced the news with a statement Thursday evening after he underwent surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.

“As many of you have likely noticed, my energy level did not return after a brief hospitalization last fall. Over the past several months, a medical team from University of Maryland Medical System has been working to determine why my energy level did not bounce back,” he said. “Recently, my doctors diagnosed me with liver disease from nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, which I learned last month is progressing. At that point, we decided that the best available course of action was to proceed with a liver transplant.”

Steatohepatitis is medical speak for fatty liver disease. Busch’s was diagnosed with a form that develops due to accumulation of fat inside the organ that, when untreated, can cause cirrhosis.

Busch was hospitalized with a case of internal bleeding last October, and was reportedly suffering from health problems this past legislative session.

Luckily, his own flesh and blood stepped in to help. The delegate’s sister donated a piece of her liver through the medical center’s Living Donor Program.

“Major surgery of this nature is always daunting. Unlike many in our state and our country, I am fortunate to have good health insurance and access to the best medical care in the country,” Busch said in his statement. “This is the first significant medical issue I have had in my life and it does force you to reflect on those who may not have the same quality of care that many of us are blessed with.”

The House speaker said he plans to “face this challenge in the same way that I have fought for the people of my district: with determination and hard work. I will keep working through my recovery and I look forward to spending time with my family and getting back on the lacrosse field with my daughters; jogging with my dog; and working for the people of Annapolis.”

Busch’s political colleagues have wished him well.

Busch filed for re-election in Maryland last month. He’s served in the House of Delegates since 1987. His district in Anne Arundel County includes Maryland’s capital city, as well as the surrounding towns of Arnold, Edgewater and Parole.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
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