JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville City Council member Tommy Hazouri will be released from the Mayo Clinic Wednesday after being admitted over the weekend due to complications from a lung transplant he underwent a year ago.
"Tommy deeply appreciates all the thoughts, well wishes, and prayers from the Jacksonville community. While his lungs may be failing him, his heart remains full for the people of this city. The Hazouri family asks that you continue respecting their privacy in this difficult time," a statement from his council office said Wednesday afternoon.
Hazouri, a former mayor, entered Mayo on Saturday. After his scheduled release on Wednesday, Hazouri will return to his home under hospice care.
His fellow City Council members ended their Tuesday meeting with a prayer for his recovery.
"The city would not be the city it is without this man," City Council member Kevin Carrico said. "All of that service leads to a wonderful career that we want to honor and bless and ask again, Lord, for a miracle, for healing."
Hazouri, 76, is one of Jacksonville's most well-known officeholders from decades of winning elections. The Democrat was a state representative from 1974 to 1986, mayor from 1987 to 1991, School Board member from 2004 to 2012, and City Council member since 2015.
He finished a one-year term as council president in June, a leadership role he called a "last hurrah" for his political career.
Hazouri's office said in July 2020 he had gone through “successful surgery” for a lung transplant, a few weeks after he started his council president tenure. He relinquished the gavel while recovering from the surgery and returned to City Hall in September.
He said last September the transplant was motivation for making the most of his time as council president and his push for an "era of enlightenment" on tackling racial disparities in the city.
"To have a new lung is a gift from heaven and I've really been blessed," Hazouri said when he returned. "I was given the lung for a reason and it's given me a new lease on life. I don't know how long I would have been here if I didn't have that lung replaced."
City Council member Matt Carlucci said Tuesday that Hazouri "is a great friend to all of us, even when he fusses with us, even when he jokes with us, and he's at a delicate time in his life."