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Thread: Senator Edward Kennedy hospitalized after suffering seizure

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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Default Senator Edward Kennedy hospitalized after suffering seizure

    Doctor: Sen. Kennedy had seizure but not stroke
    By GLEN JOHNSON – 1 hour ago

    BOSTON (AP) — Edward Kennedy's primary care physician says the senator is "not in any immediate danger" after suffering a seizure at his Cape Cod home Saturday.

    Dr. Larry Ronan says preliminary tests showed the 76-year-old Massachusetts Democrat has not suffered a stroke. Ronan says Kennedy was resting comfortably and would undergo further evaluation to determine the cause of the seizure.

    Kennedy was flown to Massachusetts General Hospital on Saturday morning after being taken by ambulance from his home to Cape Cod Hospital.

    His wife, children and niece Caroline Kennedy are with him at the hospital.

    The second longest serving member of the Senate had surgery in October to repair a nearly complete blockage in a major neck artery, a procedure done to prevent stroke.

    THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

    BOSTON (AP) — Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the lone surviving son in a famed political family who helped define national Democratic Party politics, suffered at seizure at his Cape Cod home on Saturday and was recovering in good spirits at a Boston hospital.

    Kennedy, 76, was where he was "conscious, talking, joking with family," who quickly surrounded him after he was airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital, spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said.

    Kennedy's wife, Victoria, three of his children and his niece Caroline Kennedy were among those with him at the hospital, where he was watching a Red Sox game on television.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he spoke to Kennedy's wife in the afternoon and was told "his condition is not life-threatening, but serious."

    "But the one thing I can say, if there ever was a fighter, anyone who stood for what we as Americans, we as Democrats, stand for, it's Ted Kennedy," Reid said addressing the Nevada Democratic Convention in Reno.

    On Saturday morning, Kennedy felt ill at his home and went to Cape Cod Hospital, Cutter said. After a discussion with his doctors in Boston, the senator was flown to Massachusetts General.

    An official who declined to be identified by name, citing the sensitivity of the events, had earlier said that Kennedy had stroke-like symptoms. The hospital declined to comment on his condition.

    In October, Kennedy had surgery to repair a nearly complete blockage in a major neck artery. The discovery was made during a routine examination of a decades-old back injury.

    The hourlong procedure on his left carotid artery — a main supplier of blood to the face and brain — was performed at Massachusetts General. This type of operation is performed on more than 180,000 people a year to prevent a stroke.

    The doctor who operated on Kennedy said at the time that surgery is reserved for those with more than 70 percent blockage, and Kennedy had "a very high-grade blockage."

    Distinguishing between a seizure and a transient ischemic attack, TIA, often called a mini-stroke, can sometimes be difficult.

    Seizures are little electrical storms in the brain. They tend to be brief; an occasional one can happen to anyone even without a prior history of seizures, especially if there has been some prior brain trauma.

    A stroke is either ischemic — a clog in a blood vessel — or hemorrhagic, bleeding in the brain. Hemorrhagic ones are very rare. Kennedy had the carotid artery surgery to try to prevent the ischemic type. A stroke kills brain tissue; how much depends on how big it is and how long it lasts. Some people show no lasting effects; others can be partly paralyzed on one side or somewhere in-between.

    "Sen. Kennedy was at high risk because he had surgery for an artery in his neck," said Dr. Wendy Wright, The Emory Clinic, Assistant Professor, Departments of Neurology and Nuerosurgery,

    But she said there are a lot of things that can cause seizures, such as an infection or medication.

    "Certain medications are known to cause seizures. A stroke can cause a seizure, a brain tumor or a head injury, or something in the brain itself," Wright said. "Common symptoms that we know about are falling on the ground, shaking and having confusion."

    Kennedy, the second-longest serving member of the Senate, was elected in 1962, filling out the term won by his brother, John F. Kennedy.

    Kennedy eldest brother, Joseph, was killed in a World War II airplane crash. President John Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 and his brother Robert was assassinated in 1968.

    Kennedy is active for his age, maintaining an aggressive schedule on Capitol Hill and across Massachusetts.

    He has been vocal in both his opposition to the Iraq war and support for Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama, who is trying to become the first senator elected to the White House since John F. Kennedy.

    Kennedy made several campaign appearances for the Illinois senator in February, and most recently another in April.

    Always concerned about maintaining his health, Kennedy regularly consults with a battery of Massachusetts General doctors.

    Still, he maintains homes in both Boston and Washington and attends not only official events, but numerous others recognizing his family's political history.

    Just last week, he and Caroline Kennedy awarded the annual "Profiles in Courage" award commemorating President Kennedy. And Friday, he attended a ribbon cutting at the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.

    He was preparing to host the annual Best Buddies Challenge event on Saturday afternoon, a fundraiser for the Best Buddies organization founded by Anthony Kennedy Shriver that helps people with intellectual disabilities. The event attracted celebrities, including New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Olympian Carl Lewis.

    California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, Kennedy's niece, said they appreciated all the messages of care they had received for the senator.

    "It's always a comfort to the family to know that Sen. Kennedy is in the prayers of millions," their statement said.

    Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, who went to the hospital, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Obama said were offering their prayers for his quick recovery.

    Obama, beginning a tour of hospitals in Eugene, Ore., told reporters that he had been in touch with the senator's family. He said, "We are going to be rooting for him. I insist on being optimistic about how it's going to turn out."

    A man walking by Massachusetts General was startled by the news when he asked about the reason for the large media presence. "Ted? Is he all right? Jeez, I'm taken aback. I just saw him on television yesterday," said Jerry Leonard, 76.

    "He's a Kennedy. His name is synonymous with this area," the retired bartender said. "I'm a Bostonian, too, and he's done a lot for us around here and for the senior citizens in particular."

    Associated Press writers Lauran Neergaard in Washington, Matt Pitta in Hyannisport, Mass., and David Espo in Boston contributed to this report.
    The Associated Press: Doctor: Sen. Kennedy had seizure but not stroke
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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    i like ol' Teddy. i hope he'll be ok
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    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    I hope so too! Probably needs to cut down on the weight though. Can't be good for him at that age.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    I hope so too! Probably needs to cut down on the weight though. Can't be good for him at that age.
    Exactly. Can't be too surprised.
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    Elite Member NicoleWasHere's Avatar
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    I'd heard that he had two seizures, not just one.

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    A*O
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    He's a big fat drunk - he had it coming.
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    he looks like a fat, drunk old lady. still, i can't help but like him for some reason. i hope he gets better.
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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    he looks like a fat, drunk old lady. still, i can't help but like him for some reason. i hope he gets better.
    Agreed. He looks about 400 pounds heavy (big man, 6'2"). Growing
    up in that family wasn't easy, that's for sure.
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    Elite Member tkdgirl's Avatar
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    Hate his politics. Nonetheless, prayers for a speedy recovery.

    A government big enough to give you everything you want,
    is strong enough to take everything you have. ~Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    He's a big fat drunk - he had it coming.
    Wow that's harsh.

    I think he quit drinking. The man is 76 yrs old-if he were going to be seizing due to alcohol he would have done so long before now. Besides, if two of my brothers were gunned down in cold blood, I might be tempted to find a way to dull the pain as well. Say what you will about the Kennedy's, but you can't say they are not close and love each other very much.

    Get well Teddy.

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    Somewhere the Kopechne family is smiling.......
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    Damn, a person can't be forgiven by humans...
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    Elite Member NicoleWasHere's Avatar
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    ^ Not that many people can be forgiven, if they've murdered someone. I believe Edward flat-out murdered that woman... he didn't make an effort to try and save her. He just wanted to save his own ass. All because he was "overcome by a whirlwind of emotions".

    Sounds awfully forgiveable to me.

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    Elite Member Palermo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    Somewhere the Kopechne family is smiling.......
    No kidding. He didn't care if she lived or died so screw him

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    One of his former aides, Richard Burke, claims that Teddy uses cocaine and poppers (amyl nitrate), in order to remain sexually active (sex drugs, like Ecstasy for instance, can cause seizures). As for growing up in a rough family, Teddy was once asked why he tended to "er" and "um" so much when talking. He responded that he grew up among older, strong willed people, and so never got a chance to finish a sentence. The sheer egoism and ambition of that family (particularly Joe sr) must've been a lot to handle. If the man had ever developed anything resembling a back bone (instead of a chronic bent elbow), he probably wouldn't have survived this long. He'd have been pushed too hard, like his brothers, and come to grief. He's actually a sympathetic character - we don't get to chose our circumstances. He seemed like he'd make an excellent reoccurring character on Cheers, and is the very embodiment of the phrase "whiskey priest".

    I don't think he should get a pass on Kopechne. Lesser men would still be in prison for that. Still, he does have one of the best, and most responsible voting records in the Senate (even people who detest him will admit to that). People who worked for him say that he has his flaws, but that he is completely serious about his responsibilities as the people's representative. In the long run he may have actually done more real good for America than Jack or Bobby. It was their charisma that made them memorable.

    Voting Record | Senator Kennedy
    Last edited by AgentOrange; May 18th, 2008 at 11:18 PM.

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