State Rep. John Walker of Little Rock made a couple of appearances at the Capitol this week, at both a Black Caucus meeting and a Judiciary Committee meeting, after losing a couple of weeks to hospital treatment.
We talked today. He said he’d been diagnosed with stage one cancer in one lung and had surgery to remove the malignancy at UAMS. He said the surgery that took a portion of his lung was successful and his prognosis was good. He praised the physicians and care he’d received at University Hospital. He said his doctor told him the cancer had likely been present for some time. Walker, who’s never smoked, speculated jokingly that asbestos insulation that was once so proudly installed at the school he attended as a child in Hope might have had something to do with it.
Walker said he’d been in no discomfort when he visited a doctor for another reason and a scan found a spot on his lung. Walker said he’d been urged to avoid a return to work for three to five weeks, but that he planned to “do what I can without compromising my health.” Apart from some shortness of breath, he said he’s getting around well.
We talked, as we often do, about politics. Now, more than ever, a voice for the voiceless is welcome at the Arkansas Capitol. I’m happy to report Lawyer Walker is back at work. At 76, even with a bit less lung, he still speaks powerfully.