(CNN)The White House security director was offered support Tuesday by White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, after a severe bout with Covid-19 left him hospitalized for three months.
The security director — whose office oversees approving credentialing for access to the White House, among other security measures — was recently released from the hospital after battling the virus, according to a friend with knowledge of his health, who added that the employee’s lower leg and foot were amputated as a result of his illness.
Risks for amputations related to Covid-19 are increased due to underlying conditions such as diabetes or complications such as blood clotting.
“Our heart goes out to his family,” said McEnany in the first public comments the White House has made about the man’s condition, and a day after Bloomberg first reported the details of the severity of his complications.
“He is recovering, from what I understand. We are very pleased to see that, but he and his family will be in our prayers,” said McEnany, who added she was “not sure” if President Donald Trump had spoken to the official, who has not spoken publicly, didn’t return calls for comment and whose family has asked for privacy.
The security director’s case is one of the most severe instances to reach the public of a White House employee who contracted Covid-19. He entered the hospital in September and spent much of his time there in the intensive care unit, according to a GoFundMe page established by one of his friends to raise money for his recovery.
Dawn McCrobie, who organized the fundraising campaign and has written three updates on her friend’s condition, wrote on the page that he has “staggering medical bills,” and though he was recently released from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility, there is a long road ahead.
“Even with insurance, THREE months in the ICU, many specialists, surgeons, medications, 24 hour care – the expenses are astronomical – and there is still therapy, equipment, renovations and more,” McCrobie posted on the GoFundMe page last week. He will be fitted for a prosthetic leg, and will need help with securing methods of mobility, including a wheelchair and a vehicle that can be outfitted to accommodate it. McCrobie also cited the importance of completing renovations for her friend’s post-Covid life at home, once he is able to return from the rehab facility.
McCrobie did not respond to a CNN request for comment.
The GoFundMe update notes the man’s desire for privacy. He has not publicly commented on his journey from White House official to contracting the illness and his battle to be well enough to leave the hospital, now as an amputee. The GoFundMe account asked donors to help meet a goal of $50,000 to support the man’s recovery efforts; as of Tuesday afternoon more than 750 donors had raised more than $56,000.