The family of Reverend Jesse Jackson has reason to rejoice. Both he and his wife are home and recovering after a recent hospitalization due to the coronavirus. But over the weekend, Rev. Jackson’s family and loved ones gathered to celebrate his 80th birthday. Rev. Jackson addressed his guests at the party and reflected on not only his storied career but his grueling battle with the virus. Reverend Jesse Jackson has been known through history to be a fighter. The civil rights activist has long advocated for equal rights and social justice. But in August, Jackson and his wife would enter another battle that still plagues the world.
According to a statement from the Rainbow PUSH Coalition on August 21st, Reverend Jackson and his 77-year-old wife tested positive for the virus and were admitted to the Northwestern Hospital in Chicago. The statement also advised anyone who had recently been in contact with the couple to “follow the CDC guidelines.” A week later, more updates were provided that revealed that Jacqueline Jackson had been in the ICU. Thankfully, she would be discharged from the intensive care unit, but still remained hospitalized. She would also remain on oxygen. Reverend Jackson would also begin to show signs of progress as well.
However, while Rev. Jackson’s symptoms were diminishing, he would once again face other health complications. In 2017, Jackson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which would cause him to have frequent hospitalizations. Reports stated that Rev. Jackson had been transferred to a rehabilitation facility within Northwestern Memorial where he would begin “intensive occupational and physical therapy.” Meanwhile, prayers were being answered for the Jackson family as Jacqueline Jackson was discharged from the hospital. The family, led by their son Jonathan Jackson, updated the media with a statement that they were “grateful to God and the medical team that treated her and that is allowing her body to continue to heal.”
Finally, in late September Rev. Jackson was discharged from the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab where he was receiving physical therapy. A statement provided by the Rainbow PUSH Coalition labeled it a “miracle” that both parents survived the virus. They also thanked God for “His healing,” while extending prayers for the “millions of people who have been infected with this virus and pray they too will also overcome.” Now recovered from the virus and able to see his 80th birthday on October 8th, Rev. Jesse Jackson has much to celebrate. At his birthday celebration, Jackson addressed his crowd of supporters with words of encouragement to take the necessary steps to protect yourself from the virus. Rev. Jackson admits that because he took those steps earlier this year, it “saved his life.”
Jackson then revealed that his struggles were worse than we may have thought. “I couldn’t walk or talk for three weeks,” said Rev. Jackson. He then shared that his time at the rehabilitation center was to help him learn to “walk and speak again.” We are thankful to hear that Rev. Jackson and his family have recovered and continue to pray for their health.