OTTAWA — A senator who contracted COVID-19 despite being double vaccinated has returned home after a month in hospital.
However, Sen. Josée Forest-Niesing is facing a potentially lengthy recovery due to a history of lung problems.
In a statement from her office, Forest-Niesing reveals that she has been struggling with an autoimmune condition affecting her lungs for more than 15 years.
Because her pre-existing condition made her particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, the 56-year-old Sudbury senator received two doses of vaccine as soon as possible earlier this year.
But the statement says she was warned that her medical condition would reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Still, it says Forest-Niesing is convinced her fight against COVID-19 "would have been much different" had she not been vaccinated.
She praises the care she received at Health Science North in Sudbury for a month before returning home on Saturday.
"A stay in hospital is never easy but, when it comes with empathy and a human touch, it makes all the difference," the statement says.
She also thanks all those who've wished her a speedy recovery, saying the "moral support" she's received has given her "the energy to face this enormous health challenge."
Forest-Niesing was appointed to Canada's Senate in 2018. She is a member of the Independent Senators Group.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 16, 2021.
The Canadian Press