Rep. Steve Scalise took to the field for a Congressional baseball game just one year after he was shot while practicing.
The House majority whip recalled the harrowing experience and his recovery after nine surgeries as he spoke with “Fox & Friends” on Thursday.
“There were at least two times that my surgeons at MedStar said they didn’t think I was going to make it through the night and luckily I did,” the Louisiana Republican told Fox News Channel’s Steve Doocy ahead of the charity baseball game at Washington Nationals Park on Thursday where Scalise is playing second base (video of game play below).
“To just be there on the my own and to be able to participate again like that, I didn’t think I would have that day. There were times when I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do that,” he added, describing the overwhelming support he felt when he returned to work after months of recovery.
“How hard though is it to go back to the field where so much bad happened a year ago today?” Doocy asked the 52-year-old lawmaker.
“I closed that chapter a long time ago and luckily I’ve been able to focus on all the good. You know just the prayers, the warmth of people all across the country. Back home in my district in southeast Louisiana, the prayer vigils that people held, but then to hear stories from my colleagues around the country of people that were praying for me that I don’t even know. That really lifts you up,” Scalise shared.
Scalise was critically injured on the morning of June 14, 2017 while Republican lawmakers practiced for the annual charity baseball game between the GOP and Democrats. The congressman suffered injuries to internal organs, broken bones and severe bleeding after being shot in the hip by 66-year-old James Hodgkinson, who opened fire on the Republicans before being dying of wounds sustained in a gunfight with Capitol Hill police.
Scaise looked back on the year with a tweet Wednesday captioned simply, “Tomorrow,” referring to the scheduled baseball game (Clip of game play, below).
— Rep. Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) June 13, 2018
“I got a chance to speak with President Trump yesterday, we talked a little bit about this and he was wonderful throughout the whole thing, just you know coming to the hospital, calling to check on me,” he said, adding that he also received calls from a diversity of well-wishers, from Bono of the rock band U2 to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Scalise noted that he had invited Trump to the game Thursday but thought maybe he might be a little tired after his historic summit in Singapore with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.
— Rep. Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) June 14, 2018
“I invited him. We will see if he can come. He probably has jet lag. I know he is like nonstop. I don’t know if he ever sleeps,” he said, and also wished the president a happy birthday.
Sen. Rand Paul made a cameo appearance during the interview, reiterating how glad he and his colleagues were to have Scalise back.
“Rand is a doctor. He knows how bad it was. And appreciate your support,” Scalise said, recalling how Paul was also at the field the day of the shooting.
“We are glad to have Steve back. What a miracle and God bless America,” the Kentucky Republican replied.
As fate would have it, Scalise intercepted a ground ball during the first play of the game, sending Dem. Rep Raul Ruiz back to the bench.
The significance of the moment was not lost on the players or the crowd that cheered loudly.
The Democrats would go on to win, however, by a whopping 21-5.
No matter, Scalise was thrilled with the game — as he should be:
I’ve still got it. https://t.co/boV4wcJymj
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) June 15, 2018