ABC7 Exclusive: Sandi Jackson talks about Jesse's health, future

September 25, 2012 (CHICAGO)

"I think it's important when a person who has spent a significant time in the hospital like he has to focus in on what it's going to take to get healed, and that's what he's doing right now," Jackson said.

Alderman Jackson says her husband is trying to adjust to life after being isolated for several months while undergoing treatment for bipolar disorder. But she says his plans for the future haven't changed.

"He's on the ballot and he's going to stay on the ballot," Sandi Jackson said. "We are not making any changes, no new moves. Everything is very much dependent on his doctors' decision."

Alderman Jackson has heard the call for the congressman to step down as he recovers, but she says he's not concerned with his opponents.

"He is very proud of the representation he has given his constituents over the past 17 years. He is grateful for their support and patience. And I know he would want me to thank them for their prayers as he recovers to get back to work," she said.

If he doesn't get back to work, what about the rumors that she will replace her husband?

"I am the alderman of the 7th Ward and I intend to stay the alderman of the 7th Ward," Jackson said.

Health care insurance for members of Congress is considered to be some of the best in the country, but Jackson says things are not always as they seem.

"I think a teaching moment that can come out of this is that when you deal with mental health care issues, that it's not always covered," she said.

Jackson, a mother of two, also wanted to explain why they took their home off the market.

"We started having strange people come to the front door who frightened our children, so for their safety we took it off because we couldn't ensure the children's safety," she said.

Alderman Jackson says they want to live in a residential neighborhood, which is another reason they are trying to sell their home near downtown DC.

Right now she says the main focus is getting Congressman Jackson to his doctors and hospital appointments on schedule.

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