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.

We are praying for Speaker Busch & his family as he recovers from his surgery. Wishing him a speedy recovery & the best of health.

— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) June 2, 2017

Kind and encouraging to me from the moment I was sworn in as Delegate, @SpeakerBusch is dear to me. Wishing you a full & speedy recovery ♥️ pic.twitter.com/lTHVRLf79B

— Del. Robbyn Lewis (@RobbynLewis46th) June 2, 2017

Wishing my friend, @SpeakerBusch, a full and speedy recovery. You’re built Baltimore strong.

— Mayor Bernard C. Jack Young (@mayorbcyoung) June 1, 2017

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.

Avatar photo

Ethan McLeod

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...