Doctors Blame Fatigue For Kennedy's Seizure

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A fellow senator is offering an upbeat report on Edward Kennedy, who suffered an apparent seizure at a post-inauguration luncheon for President Barack Obama.

John Kerry visited Kennedy at the hospital. He says the Massachusetts Democrat is "laughing and joking right now" and has "got all his Irish dander up."

Kerry says Kennedy will remain overnight at the hospital.

A spokeswoman at the Washington Hospital Center says Kennedy was awake and answering questions when he arrived and was able to receive a phone call from Obama. At Kennedy's side are his wife, Vicki, and son Rep. Patrick Kennedy.

Kennedy had appeared in good health and spirits a few hours earlier when he stepped out of the Capitol and onto the inauguration platform where Obama took the oath of office.

Doctors are blaming fatigue for the seizure that Sen. Edward M. Kennedy suffered during a post-inauguration luncheon for President Barack Obama.

Senate colleague Orrin Hatch said it appeared that Kennedy had a "seizure."

He says he was with Kennedy when the senator was put into an ambulance, and that Kennedy was conscious and gave him a grin.

Kennedy, who's 76, has been battling a brain tumor.

A fellow senator, Democrat Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, says President Barack Obama went over to check on Kennedy after he became ill.

President Obama later told the luncheon that his prayers are with Kennedy.

Sen. Robert C. Byrd's office says the 91-year West Virginian decided to leave an inauguration luncheon after Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was stricken, but not because of any medical problem of his own.

Spokesman Mark Ferrell said that Byrd was sitting at the Capitol luncheon with Sen. Kennedy when the Massachusetts senator took sick.

Ferrell said, "Sen. Byrd did not have a medical issue - he is just fine."

Ferrell added: "Sen. Byrd made the decision to leave the luncheon once Sen. Kennedy was being taken from the room by medical personnel. Sen. Byrd is currently in his own office in the Senate Hart Building and is doing fine, though remains very concerned about his close friend Ted Kennedy."

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