Tests negative, Sen. John Fetterman leaves hospital
WASHINGTON (AP) — Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. John Fetterman left a hospital in Washington after a two-day stay, his office said Friday, following a spell of lightheadedness that prompted the visit as he recovers from a stroke he suffered last year on the campaign trail.
In a statement, Fetterman’s office said he was discharged from George Washington University Hospital after tests found no evidence of a new stroke or a seizure.
“In addition to the CT, CTA, and MRI tests ruling out a stroke, his EEG test results came back normal, with no evidence of seizures. John is looking forward to spending some time with his family and returning to the Senate on Monday,” Fetterman’s communications director Joe Calvello said in the statement.
Fetterman checked himself in on Wednesday after feeling lightheaded during a Senate Democratic retreat.
He continues to suffer the aftereffects of the stroke, in particular auditory processing disorder, which can render someone unable to speak fluidly and quickly process spoken conversation into meaning.
In November, Fetterman, 53, won the seat held by now-retired Republican Pat Toomey, spending the last five months of the campaign recovering from the stroke even as he waged a hard-fought contest against GOP nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Fetterman, who was Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, defeated the celebrity heart surgeon by 5 percentage points, flipping a seat that was key to Democrats holding the Senate majority. More than $300 million was spent during the campaign, making it the most expensive Senate race in 2022.
Fetterman is an outsized presence on Capitol Hill, standing 6-foot-8 with a clean-shaven head and a goatee, and is a rising star in progressive politics.
His campaign was temporarily derailed on May 13, just days before the Democratic primary, when he suffered a stroke that he said nearly killed him.
He underwent surgery to implant a pacemaker with a defibrillator to manage two heart conditions, atrial fibrillation and cardiomyopathy, and spent much of the summer recovering and off the campaign trail.
He refused to release his medical records or allow his doctors to answer reporters’ questions, as Oz made an issue of whether his opponent was honest about the effects of the stroke and whether Fetterman was fit to serve. The Democrat insisted his doctors said he could have a full recovery.
The effects of the stroke were apparent in Fetterman’s uneven performance during the fall campaign’s only debate when he struggled to complete sentences and jumbled words.
On election night, he told cheering supporters he ran for “anyone that ever got knocked down that got back up.”