August 8, 2013 10:06:12 AM
Carl Smith - [email protected]
State Rep. Tyrone Ellis, D-Starkville, says he is in better health and spirit following a late July stroke which hospitalized him.
Ellis was discharged from Baptist Medical Center after being admitted to its intensive care wing last week. He reportedly suffered the stroke July 29, and lawmakers were notified of his condition the following day via email.
Ellis, who is from Starkville, represents House District 38. He serves as the House's Democratic Whip.
"I'm doing well, and I'm in therapy right now. It's a day-to-day thing. I'll probably be down for at least a couple of weeks," he said.
Other state representatives, local officials and Oktibbeha County Democratic Party members say they have not yet reached out to Ellis due to his need for recovery. Ellis confirmed he will maintain a very limited schedule for the coming weeks, and his wife is limiting the number of phone calls and visitors he receives on a daily basis.
"We have not been avoiding people, but my family is a little protective of me these days," Ellis said jokingly. "We're all very appreciative of the prayers and concerns that we've received."
"He definitely needs time to recuperate," Miss. Rep. Gary Chism, R-Columbus, said. "I have not spoken to him, but I have talked to others who have. They all say he does not seem to have residual effects from the stroke. That's just wonderful to have such a major alarm clock go off and for him not to have any residual problems."
Ellis was first elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1980. He also serves as the pastor of Second Running Water Baptist Church.
Local county party members praised Ellis for his ability to mobilize the community in elections and governance. Ellis worked with his party as it campaigned for Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman in June and most recently gave a speech on the steps of City Hall in support for embattled former Chief Administrative Officer Lynn Spruill last month.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch