Rhode Island Commissioner of Education Deborah Gist has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, according to the Providence Journal. Doctors reportedly believe the growth to be benign and will operate on the commissioner in late September at an undisclosed hospital.
Deputy Commissioner David V. Abbott will run the department in her absence. Gist is expected to be on medical leave for at least two months while she recovers.
The tumor was reportedly discovered during a series of tests after Gist suffered a severe concussion in July while traveling to a conference in Atlanta. A suitcase placed in an overhead compartment on the plane slipped and hit her on the head, according to the Journal.
Gist reduced her duties as the state's top education official following the concussion after experiencing headaches, nausea and exhaustion. Since her concussion, she has been working on a part-time basis, according to the Department of Education.
Gist's tumor is reported to be about the size of a lima bean and is believed to be benign. She is expected to make a full recovery.