Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the leading Democrat within the state’s high-profile Senate contest, suffered a stroke just days before the first election but was on his strategy to a “full recovery,” his campaign said on Sunday.
The 52-year-old Fetterman, who confirmed that he had been hospitalized all weekend, insisted the health emergency wasn’t slowing his campaign. However the stunning revelation, two days before Pennsylvania’s primary, created a cloud of uncertainty over the Democratic front-runner’s candidacy in what could also be one in all the party’s best Senate pickup opportunities.
“Feeling good, all things considered,” Fetterman said in a text message to The Associated Press.
In a 16-second video released by his campaign, a seated Fetterman, speaking clearly, explained that he “just wasn’t feeling thoroughly” on Friday and decided to go to the hospital on the urging of his wife.
He detailed the situation further in a written statement.
“I had a stroke that was attributable to a clot from my heart being in an A-fib rhythm for too long,” Fetterman said. He said the doctors were capable of remove the clot, “reversing the stroke,” and got his heart under control.
“The excellent news is I’m feeling significantly better, and the doctors tell me I didn’t suffer any cognitive damage,” he said within the statement.
Questions on Fetterman’s health swirled throughout the weekend after he canceled scheduled public appearances Friday, Saturday and Sunday. His campaign cited a health issue but was not specific until Sunday.
Fetterman didn’t say how for much longer he could be within the hospital.
“They’re keeping me here for now for remark, but I ought to be out of here sometime soon,” he said within the statement. “The doctors have assured me that I’ll have the opportunity to get back on the trail, but first I would like to take a minute, get some rest, and get better.”
1000’s of early votes have already been forged within the race to succeed Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, although Pennsylvania Democrats on Tuesday will finalize their general election nominee from a four-person field that features Fetterman, three-term U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta.
Fetterman is the strong favorite. He has led in polls and fundraising from the beginning, whilst the party’s establishment rallied around Lamb. Despite such support, Lamb struggled to achieve voters and even pierce Fetterman’s standing with primary voters.
Lamb tweeted that he was conducting a television interview when he learned of Fetterman’s stroke.
“Hayley and I are keeping John and his family in our prayers and wishing him a full and speedy recovery,” Lamb wrote.
Kenyatta called Fetterman “an incredible family man.” “My prayers are with him and his family as he recovers from this stroke,” he tweeted. “I stay up for seeing him back on the campaign trail soon.”
And on the Republican side, Senate GOP hopeful Mehmet Oz, a heart surgeon, said he has experience treating Fetterman’s condition.
“I even have cared for atrial fibrillation patients and witnessed the miracles of recent medicine within the treatment of strokes, so I’m thankful that you simply received care so quickly,” Oz tweeted. “My whole family is praying to your speedy recovery.”
Fetterman’s heart condition, atrial fibrillation, occurs when the center’s top chambers, called the atria, get out of sync with the underside chambers’ pumping motion. Sometimes patients feel a flutter or a racing heart, but again and again they are not aware of an episode.
A-fib is most typical in older adults, and other risks include hypertension or a family history of arrhythmias. It causes 130,000 deaths and 750,000 hospitalizations a yr within the U.S.
Fetterman, who’s 6-foot-8, has been open about his push to drop some weight previously. He weighed in at over 400 kilos before losing nearly 150 kilos in 2018.
His imposing stature has been a giant a part of his political appeal.
The previous western Pennsylvania mayor has tattoos down his arms, a clean-shaven head and a goatee. He curses on social media and wears shorts practically in all places, even within the winter.
He vowed to press forward on Sunday despite the health setback.
“Our campaign is not slowing down one bit, and we’re still heading in the right direction to win this primary on Tuesday, and flip this Senate seat in November,” he said. “Thanks for all of the support, and please get on the market and vote.”