- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 14, 2009

D.C. Council member Marion Barry on Tuesday left the hospital for a second time in as many days after being examined for a sudden allergic reaction he suffered the night before while celebrating his release from care hours earlier.

Mr. Barry was taken to Howard University Hospital Monday night after he showed severe allergy symptoms while eating dinner with family and friends.

“I ate some shrimp and some crab soup and all of a sudden my tongue started swelling, my throat started closing, my vision became somewhat blurred,” Mr. Barry said at a press conference Tuesday at Howard University Hospital. “It scared the hell out of me, quite frankly.”

Dr. Clive Callender, who performed kidney transplant surgery on Mr. Barry in February, said the reaction was potentially fatal but that Mr. Barry’s condition improved without “aggressive” treatment.

Dr. Callender said sudden allergies without explanation are fairly common.

Mr. Barry was first released at about 5 p.m. Monday after a weeklong hospital stay, during which he was treated for dehydration and a mild blood infection, Dr. Callender said.

The incident is yet another on a lengthy list of ailments the 73-year-old council member has overcome in his career.

“I’ve had a whole bunch of health challenges,” Mr. Barry said Tuesday. “I should be a living miracle.”

Mr. Barry recalled several recent and past health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure and prostate cancer, for which he was treated in 1995.

The four-term mayor, who has most recently served as council member for Ward 8 since 2005, insisted that he is healthy enough to keep up with the job.

Dr. Callender said he thinks Mr. Barry’s active lifestyle helps keep him healthy.

“That’s what keeps him going,” Dr. Callender said.

Dr. Callender said Mr. Barry’s transplant story has inspired others to come to Howard for transplants. Exact numbers were not available, but he said that last year the hospital performed about 10 transplants compared to about 15 so far this year.

• David C. Lipscomb can be reached at .

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