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11 Feb 2023
Nick Gilbertson

NextImg:Sen. John Fetterman Discharged from Hospital After Doctors Rule Out Stroke

Freshman Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) was discharged from George Washington University Hospital on Friday after doctors ruled out another stroke and testing showed “no evidence of seizures,” his spokesman announced.

“A few minutes ago, Senator Fetterman was discharged from the hospital,” Fetterman’s communication director, Joe Calvello, wrote in a tweet late Friday afternoon.

Fetterman, who suffered a life-threatening stroke in May – just days before Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate primary – was taken to the hospital on Wednesday after feeling “lightheaded” at the Senate Democratic Retreat, the spokesman announced this week.

Calvello noted on Friday that an MRI and other tests, including computed tomography angiography (CTA) and computerized tomography (CT) scans, ruled “out a stoke,” while Fetterman’s electroencephalogram (EEG) “came back normal, with no evidence of seizures”:

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John is looking forward to returning to the Senate on Monday,” Calvello added.

The news of Fetterman’s discharge came hours after the New York Times reported that “aides and confidantes describe his transition to the Senate as a difficult period.” Additionally, he may have pushed himself too hard on the campaign trail following his stroke, potentially setting “himself back permanently,” the publication’s Annie Karni wrote:

But aides and confidantes describe his introduction to the Senate as a difficult period, filled with unfamiliar duties that are taxing for someone still in recovery: meetings with constituents, attending caucus and committee meetings, appearing in public at White House events and at the State of the Union address, as well as making appearances in Pennsylvania.

The most evident disability is a neurological condition that impairs his hearing. Mr. Fetterman suffers from auditory processing issues, forcing him to rely primarily on a tablet to transcribe what is being said to him. The hearing issues are inconsistent; they often get worse when he is in a stressful or unfamiliar situation. When it’s bad, Mr. Fetterman has described it as trying to make out the muffled voice of the teacher in the “Peanuts” cartoon, whose words could never be deciphered.

The stroke — after which he had a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted — also took a less apparent but very real psychological toll on Mr. Fetterman. It has been less than a year since the stroke transformed him from someone with a large stature that suggested machismo — a central part of his political identity — into a physically altered version of himself, and he is frustrated at times that he is not yet back to the man he once was. He has had to come to terms with the fact that he may have set himself back permanently by not taking the recommended amount of rest during the campaign. And he continues to push himself in ways that people close to him worry are detrimental.

In October, Fetterman’s physician, Dr. Clifford Chen, MD, who apparently contributed to the candidate’s campaign, wrote a letter saying he “has no work restrictions and can work full duty in public office,” as Breitbart News reported. He noted that Fetterman was still enduring symptoms of auditory processing disorder.

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