Sen. Kennedy hospitalized with symptoms of stroke
By DAVID ESPO and GLEN JOHNSON, Associated Press
Writers 4 minutes ago
BOSTON - Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was hospitalized
Saturday after becoming ill at his home, his office
said. There was no immediate word on his condition.
A knowledgeable official said the Massachusetts
Democrat was in the hospital after suffering
stroke-like symptoms. The official declined to be
identified by name, citing the sensitivity of the
Kennedy spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter confirmed in a
statement that Kennedy went to Cape Cod Hospital on
Saturday morning "after feeling ill at his home."
After discussion with his doctors in Boston, Kennedy
was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for
"He is currently under evaluation that information
will be released as it becomes available," she said.
Hyannis Fire Lt. Bill Rex told The Associated Press
that a 911 call came in from the Kennedy family
compound at 8:19 a.m. A man was transported to Cape
Cod Hospital and transferred by air at 10:10 a.m. from
Barnstable Municipal Airport to Massachusetts General.
David Reilly, a spokesman for Cape Cod Hospital, said
that Kennedy was brought to the hospital at about 9
a.m. and stayed for about an hour before being flown
by helicopter to the Boston hospital. He said he could
not comment on Kennedy's condition or treatment
because of medical privacy laws.
Kennedy, 76, has been in the Senate since election in
1962, filling out the term won by his brother, John F.
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
Weeks after the surgery, he returned to work in the
Senate and told the AP, "I'm feeling fine. I think
it's just about getting the energy level back. ... The
strength has been coming back daily."
One of Kennedy's doctors said after the surgery that
the senator's overall health was excellent. Kennedy is
on blood-pressure and cholesterol medication. Kennedy
has been bothered by an aching back since a 1964 plane
crash, which killed a pilot and one of Kennedy's
Kennedy is the lone surviving son in a famed political
family. His 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.
Considered a liberal lion in the Senate, Edward
Kennedy was re-elected in 2006. His current term ends
in 2013. The senator made a failed run for the
presidency in 1980.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama,
beginning a tour of hospitals in Eugene, Ore., told
reporters that he had been in touch with the senator's
family. "Ted Kennedy is a giant in American political
history. He's done more for health care than just
about anybody in history. We are going to be rooting
for him. I insist on being optimistic about how it's
going to turn out."
Kennedy gave Obama's presidential campaign a big boost
this year with his endorsement and has campaigned
actively for the Illinois senator.
Arizona Sen. John McCain, the likely GOP presidential
nominee, said he awaited word on Kennedy's condition.
"Senator Kennedy's role in the U.S. Senate cannot be
overstated. He is a legendary lawmaker, and I have the
highest respect for him. When we have worked together,
he has been a skillful, fair and generous partner."