Rep. Mark Pless

Rep. Mark Pless

N.C. Rep. Mark Pless, R-Haywood, was recently hospitalized due to blood clots, a condition he blames on his numerous and uninterrupted commutes to Raleigh.

“I drive for four hours at a time each week nonstop,” Pless said of his commute to Raleigh since the legislative session opened. “That’s the only thing I’ve been doing different, so I assume that’s it.”

Pless said he has been feeling poorly for the past three weeks, but just didn’t go to the doctor. As a paramedic for 28 years, he reasoned that he could figure it out. Symptoms he first attributed to allergies didn’t improve, and ultimately Pless learned he had blood clots in both his lung and his right leg. He’s on blood thinners, which will prevent more clots from forming, but said he is still weak, and that the biggest fear is getting COVID.

“I can walk about 30 feet, and I’m done,” he said.

The legislature isn’t meeting this week, and while Pless said he could participate virtually and vote by proxy, he still intends on traveling to Raleigh weekly. This time he will break the trips up so he can walk for about 10 minutes each hour.

“That’s the only thing I know to do. My biggest fear is getting COVID,” Pless said in reference to his lung issue. “I can limit my exposure to just the floor and not have meetings or anything.”

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