Ted Kennedy collapses at inaugural lunch

January 20, 2009

Washington (ChattahBox) — Sen. Edward Kennedy collapsed Tuesday afternoon during a luncheon for President Barack Obama.

Former Vice President Mondale said he was sitting with Kennedy at their table, that he was doing fine when all of a sudden Kennedy started to convulse, which “lasted a while.”

The member said Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, was still experiencing seizures when he was put in a wheelchair and taken out through the Rayburn room, located to the side of Statuary Hall. The incident happened at the end of lunch.

He was later alert and talking to family, Washington Hospital Center spokeswoman Paula Faria said.

The senior Massachusetts senator, who was first elected to the Senate in 1962, is a staunch supporter of Obama.

Obama mentioned Kennedy’s condition while speaking at the luncheon.

Kennedy “was there when the Voting Rights Act passed,” the new president said. “Along with John Lewis, (he) was a warrior for justice. And so I would be lying to you if I did not say that right now, a part of me is with him. And I think that’s true for all of us. This is a joyous time. But it’s also a sobering time, and my prayers are with him and his family and (his wife) Vicki.”

In May, Kennedy 76, suffered a seizure while walking his dogs at his home in Hyannisport, Massachusetts.

Three days later, Kennedy’s doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said the preliminary results from a brain biopsy showed a tumor in the left parietal lobe, which was responsible for the seizure. See a closer look at Kennedy. »

In June, Kennedy underwent a 3½-hour operation at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, to remove a malignant tumor from his brain. Surgeons reported that the surgery was a success and that Kennedy should suffer no permanent damage from the procedure.

Kennedy’s follow-up treatment plan was to include radiation and chemotherapy.

Kennedy had surgery in October 2007 to clear his carotid artery in hopes of preventing a stroke. Until the seizure last year, the powerful Democrat appeared in fine health. He suffers chronic back pain from injuries suffered in a 1964 plane crash.


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