This photo provided by the Warren County Regional Jail shows Rene Boucher, who has been arrested and charged with assaulting and injuring U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. Kentucky State Police said in a news release Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 that Paul suffered injuries when 59-year-old Rene Boucher assaulted him at his Warren County home on Friday afternoon. (Warren County Regional Jail via AP)
Warren County Regional Jail via AP
This photo provided by the Warren County Regional Jail shows Rene Boucher, who has been arrested and charged with assaulting and injuring U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. Kentucky State Police said in a news release Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 that Paul suffered injuries when 59-year-old Rene Boucher assaulted him at his Warren County home on Friday afternoon. (Warren County Regional Jail via AP)
Now playing
02:39
Suspect in Rand Paul assault pleads not guilty
rand paul
CNN
rand paul
Now playing
03:57
Rand Paul sides with Trump over US intel
CNN
Now playing
02:03
Paul: Putin will never admit to election hack
Sen. Rand Paul speaks on Capitol Hill.
POOL
Sen. Rand Paul speaks on Capitol Hill.
Now playing
02:33
Attorney: Rand Paul attack was not political
CNN
Now playing
01:26
Rand Paul: I never wanted government shutdown
Sen. Rand Paul, Mike Pompeo nomination vote
CNN
Sen. Rand Paul, Mike Pompeo nomination vote
Now playing
01:44
Sen. Rand Paul: Pompeo has reassured me
Now playing
01:42
Paul: I'll do everything to block Trump picks
rand paul assault injuries es live_00002205.jpg
rand paul assault injuries es live_00002205.jpg
Now playing
00:40
Sen. Paul's injuries worse than first reported
CNN
Now playing
00:40
Sen. Rand Paul assaulted in Kentucky home
Travel Pool material of President Trump motorcading to and from his golf outing today, plus a read-out from Sen. Rand Paul    Note from the travel pool producer:  President Trump and Sen. Paul stayed in the SUV for a few minutes before disembarking.   After that, the senator gave a brief readout of their time together (on-camera). He said they discussed tax reform and health care (Paul also praised the president's golf game).
Pool
Travel Pool material of President Trump motorcading to and from his golf outing today, plus a read-out from Sen. Rand Paul Note from the travel pool producer: President Trump and Sen. Paul stayed in the SUV for a few minutes before disembarking. After that, the senator gave a brief readout of their time together (on-camera). He said they discussed tax reform and health care (Paul also praised the president's golf game).
Now playing
00:42
Rand Paul says Trump beat him at golf
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Now playing
01:46
What's the difference between Ron Paul and Rand Paul?
rand paul
CNN
rand paul
Now playing
01:30
Rand Paul on GOP bill: Start small and build
CNN
Now playing
01:11
Rand Paul insists on 'clean repeal vote'
Now playing
01:21
Rand Paul cautions Trump not to pardon family
Now playing
00:58
Paul: 'Stupidity' preventing a Syria solution
AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
01:13
President Trump and Rand Paul before the thaw

Story highlights

Kelley Paul, the senator's wife, says this was not a "scuffle," a "fight" or an "altercation"

It was a deliberate, blindside attack, she writes

Editor’s Note: Kelley Paul is the wife of Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers.

(CNN) —  

The average person takes 20,000 breaths a day. Since November 3, my husband, Rand Paul, has not taken a single one without pain. He has not had a single night’s sleep uninterrupted by long periods of difficult breathing or excruciating coughing.

As his wife, I have been distraught over seeing him suffer like this. There have been several nights where I had my hand on my phone ready to call 911 when his breathing became so labored it was terrifying.

Despite this, he refused to give in to the pain and was determined to fly back to Washington last week to do his job. As we walked through the airport returning from D.C., he was shivering with a 102.5 fever, and the next morning his internist diagnosed pneumonia in his damaged lung.

It is incredibly hurtful that some news outlets have victimized Rand a second time as he struggles to recover, delighting in hateful headlines like “Not A Perfect Neighbor,” and concocting theories about an “ongoing dispute,” based on nothing more than speculation from an attention-seeking person with no knowledge of anything to do with us.

The fact is, neither Rand nor I have spoken to the attacker in 10 years (since before his wife and children moved away) other than a casual wave from the car. Nobody in our family has, nor have we communicated with anyone in his family. With Rand’s travel to D.C. in the last seven years, he has rarely seen this man at all.

The only “dispute” existed solely in the attacker’s troubled mind, until, on a beautiful autumn day, he ran down the hill on our property and slammed his body into Rand’s lower back as he stood facing away, wearing noise canceling headphones to protect his ears from the lawnmower.

Get our free weekly newsletter

This was not a “scuffle,” a “fight” or an “altercation,” as many in the media falsely describe it. It was a deliberate, blindside attack. The impact left Rand with six broken ribs, three displaced, pleural effusion and now pneumonia. This has been a terrible experience; made worse by the media’s gleeful attempts to blame Rand for it, ridiculing him for everything from mowing his own lawn to composting.

This Thanksgiving weekend, instead of playing golf with his sons or enjoying our annual touch football game with family and neighbors, Rand will be in pain. But we will still be grateful for the love of our large and supportive family, and for the encouragement and prayers of hundreds of kind and thoughtful people during these last weeks.

Editor’s note: Rene Albert Boucher, a neighbor of Senator Paul’s, has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor assault. His attorney Matthew Baker told CNN in an interview for a story published November 9 that Boucher, an anesthesiologist, regrets the incident. “If he had to do it over again, I can assure you it would have been handled much more diplomatically,” Baker said. The attorney, asked about the motive, said “we should believe” a neighbor, Jim Skaggs, who told CNN there has been a “long-running disagreement” over property maintenance. Baker also said, in a statement, “We sincerely hope that Sen. Paul is doing well and that these two gentlemen can get back to being neighbors as quickly as possible.”