Robinson says he's on the mend

Russell County Commissioner Johnnie Robinson Jr. is expecting to return to work after suffering a burst appendix and damage to his small intestine three weeks ago.

Robinson, 52, is still hospitalized at Martin Army Community Hospital at Fort Benning, but anticipates being released within the next week. He is the pastor of Higher Power Outreach Church and CEO/founder of the House of Restoration, both in Phenix City.

"God has been good. I'm feeling a lot stronger," Robinson said today. "I'm very, very grateful for the prayers people have sent up for me."

Robinson said he first began to feel ill on Oct. 22, making a visit to the emergency room that afternoon before leaving to attend a Russell County Commission work session that evening. He attended the commission meeting the next morning, but returned to the emergency room right after it concluded. His appendix burst later that day.

Robinson was first treated at Martin, but then transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta where he spent time in the intensive care unit. Robinson was returned to Martin last week as his condition continued to improve.

He was appointed to the commission by Alabama Gov. Bob Riley last March after the Alabama Supreme Court removed Ronnie Reed from office because of a 1979 burglary conviction and Reed's failure to re-acquire political rights after the end of his five-year probation sentence.

The Pensacola, Fla., native is a retired U.S. Army master sergeant who spent 21 years in the military, 11 of those years at Fort Benning.