Belfast Telegraph

Naomi Long 'doing well' after op as husband thanks hospital staff

By Suzanne Breen

Alliance leader Naomi Long is recovering at home after surgery for a long-term illness.

Her husband Michael last night told the Belfast Telegraph that she was "doing very well" and praised staff at the Ulster Hospital who had looked after her.

He also said that the couple were "deeply touched" by the number of people from across the political divide who had sent Mrs Long their warmest wishes for a speedy recovery.

Last week, the Alliance leader revealed that she suffers from aggressive endometriosis which causes excruciating pelvic pain and heavy bleeding.

She underwent surgery and returned home on Sunday after six days in the Ulster Hospital.

Mr Long said that initially his wife had been in pain in the days following her operation but that was now under control with medication. He said: "I'm delighted the surgery went so well, without any complications, and Naomi is back home.

"All the hospital staff were excellent. They couldn't have done more for us. Naomi and I would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to them.

"Naomi was in a fair bit of pain for a short while but that has been brought under control with painkillers."

Mr Long said that figures from all the local political parties had been in touch to wish his wife well.

"The response from other politicians and from ordinary people right across the political spectrum has been overwhelming. We are deeply touched by the kindness that people have shown," he added.

Mrs Long has been praised widely for breaking the taboo about endometriosis and speaking about the condition.

It involves tissue which normally lines the womb growing outside it. Although rarely discussed publicly, the disease affects up to one in 10 women and can have a huge impact on quality of life.

The Alliance leader twice cancelled surgery this year to fight the Assembly and then the Westminster election.

Speaking before surgery, she said: "The chronic pain and other symptoms of the condition have become increasingly severe and hard to manage over the last few years, resulting in a couple of emergency admissions to hospital."

Mrs Long expects to be off work for up to two months.

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