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Ex-Speaker Fights Enemy Within

Florida House
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Former Florida House Speaker Allan Bense has been admitted to a rehabilitation center in Atlanta for the next phase of his struggle against Guillain-Barre syndrome, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Bense, 62, was admitted to Shands Hospital at the University of Florida in September with symptoms of what he thought was a heart attack. After much testing, according to his family's blog, he was diagnosed with the  rare and devastating neurological condition, in which the immune system attacks the nerves. It can cause paralysis.

After undergoing a plasma exchange, the blog says, Bense was transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, a renowned rehabilitation center. He was described as beginning to regain use of his arms and to manage a wheelchair.

Bense, who was Speaker from 2004 to 2006, is father-in-law of the current Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.