Michael E. Busch is one of Maryland’s most influential and powerful political leaders, as the House Speaker. Busch has suffered from ongoing health problems related to prescription medications to treat skin cancer.
On Wednesday, Busch said his health had deteriorated over the last few weeks, during a brief interview with The Capital.
Physicians at the University of Maryland Medical Center diagnosed Busch with a type of fatty liver disease called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. He was told in May that the disease was progressing.
Busch, 70, had coincided with his physicians and all agreed on a liver transplant. His sister was the donor, so physicians can monitor the newly transplanted organ’s growth to make sure its size is sufficient for Busch’s body.
On Thursday evening, Alexandra Hughes, the speaker’s chief of staff, said Busch was out of surgery and recovering. He will require about seven weeks to recover.
Earlier this month, Busch announced his run for re-election, while downplaying his health condition, saying he was on the mend and would hopefully regain his strength by fall.
The speaker was optimistic about his liver transplant and the likelihood of getting back his health.
Previously, Busch had dismissed his health issues, even though he had lost a considerable amount of weight within the last year. The medication he was being prescribed to treat the skin cancer on his legs caused Busch to experience internal bleeding, which contributed to his weight loss.
On Thursday, his office released a statement acknowledging a change in Busch’s’ health status. After a short hospitalization last fall, he remained lethargic and required short breaks from floor proceedings in the finals days of the General Assembly session in April.
Busch’s liver problems were labeled idiopathic, which means the cause is unclear.