FARMVILLE, Pitt County — Rep. Walter Jones, who serves most of this area as a representative of the state's 3rd Congressional District, is currently under hospice care.

Jones' press office released a statement confirming Jones is in hospice care. Jones' health has declined after sustaining a broken hip and having surgery on Jan. 15, according to the release.

Hospice is generally used for end-of-life care. 

The NCGOP Twitter account and state Republican chairman Robin Hayes also released a statement through Dallas Woodhouse, the Executive Director of the North Carolina Republican Party:

"The News about Walter Jones entering Hospice is extremely sad for the entire Republican family. He pray for comfort and peace for him and his family.”

Jones was granted a leave of absence on Dec. 11 after an illness kept him away from Congressional votes since September. He has been battling illness and had surgery on Jan. 15 after breaking his hip.

He also missed some time for kidney stone surgery in 2014.

Jones, 75, has served the 3rd Congressional District since 1995. He switched from a Democrat to a Republican and won election to the spot in 1995. Before that, he tried to run for the 1st Congressional District, a spot his father held for decades before retiring in 1992. The younger Jones lost to Eva Clayton, who was later succeeded by current Rep. G.K. Butterfield.

Jones is from and currently lives in Farmville.