Well-wishers who gathered Monday to pray for the health of state Rep. Tamara Grigsby celebrated word that she had regained consciousness in a Wisconsin hospital.
They also prayed that the representative, who does not like to draw attention to herself , would recover enough to be annoyed with her friends for organizing a prayer service on her behalf. Attendees, including many in Milwaukee’s political elite, held hands below pictures of Grigsby that were projected on screens in the chapel at a northwest Milwaukee church.
“She’s a very shy person and she really hates these kinds of things, but it’s out of love that we are here,” Sen. Spencer Coggs said during the gathering.
Grigsby’s legislative aides disclosed last week that the representative is in intensive care and in critical condition.
The Milwaukee Democrat was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and was admitted to a Wisconsin hospital a week ago. Aides would not say what kind of cancer Grigsby has or whether her illness was related to cancer.
Sen. Lena Taylor organized Monday’s gathering at Greater New Birth Church and said an aide to Grigsby emailed her just before the service to say Grigsby had regained consciousness.
Milwaukee Common Council President Willie Hines Jr., Mayor Tom Barrett and several state representatives were among dozens who cheered the news.
“She’s my state representative,” Barrett said, “so I really want her to get better so she can keep fighting for all of us in Madison.”
Taylor said protesters who gather daily at the state Capitol had dedicated Monday’s gathering to Grigsby.
The senator, who serves with Grigsby on the state Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, said she last saw Grigsby at a hearing just before Thanksgiving. Even then, she could tell Grigsby was struggling with her medical condition. “I am standing in faith that she will be healed and I am standing in faith that it will be a miraculous recovery,” Taylor said.
Rep. Christine Sinicki, who sat next to Grigsby during their first term as legislators, said Grigsby was overwhelmed when she got to Madison and jokingly asked whether she could recall herself. But she has been a vocal leader in the Assembly, Sinicki said.
“Through all these years, she has been a fighter for everyone in the state of Wisconsin,” Sinicki said. “Tamara is not going anywhere without a fight.”
Get well Rep. Grigsby!