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Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., was hospitalized this weekend following a stroke, the senator revealed Sunday night.
“This weekend, after feeling lightheaded while delivering a speech, I sought medical attention at the recommendation of the Attending Physician,” Van Hollen posted on Twitter. “I’m feeling much better but will follow doctors’ orders and curtail my schedule for the next few days.”
He posted a full statement, saying, “I was admitted to George Washington University hospital after experiencing lightheadedness and acute neck pain while I was delivering a speech in Western Maryland.”
“Earlier today, an angiogram indicated that I had experienced a minor stroke in the form of a small venous [sic] tear at the back of my head,” the senator added. “Fortunately, I have been informed that there are no long-term effects or damage as a result of this incident, but my doctors have advised that out of an abundance of caution I remain under observation for a few days.”
Van Hollen, 63, has served in the U.S. Senate since 2017.
Van Hollen is not the only major Democratic politician to suffer a stroke this weekend.
“On Friday, I wasn’t feeling well, so I went to the hospital to get checked out,” Fetterman said in a statement Sunday. “I didn’t want to go – I didn’t think I had to – but Gisele insisted, and as usual, she was right. I hadn’t been feeling well, but was so focused on the campaign that I ignored the signs and just kept going. On Friday it finally caught up with me. I had a stroke that was caused by a clot from my heart being in an A-fib rhythm for too long.”
“Fortunately, Gisele spotted the symptoms and got me to the hospital within minutes,” he added. “The amazing doctors here were able to quickly and completely remove the clot, reversing the stroke, they got my heart under control as well. It’s a good reminder to listen to your body and be aware of the signs.”
Like Van Hollen, Fetterman said he would be able to return to his normal work after a short break, with little lasting damage.
“The good news is I’m feeling much better, and the doctors tell me I didn’t suffer any cognitive damage. I’m well on my way to a full recovery,” the lieutenant governor said. “They’re keeping me here for now for observation, but I should be out of here sometime soon. The doctors have assured me that I’ll be able to get back on the trail, but first I need to take a minute, get some rest, and recover.”
Approximately 795,000 people in the U.S. have strokes every year, and of these incidents, 137,000 of the people die, according to the National Institutes of Health. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in America. About 610,000 of these cases are first strokes, and most people who survive a stroke will have another stroke within 5 years.
Lifestyle factors and conditions that increase a person’s risk of stroke include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, previous stroke, and cigarette smoking. Additional risk factors include physical inactivity, obesity, high cholesterol, sickle cell disease, over consumption of alcohol, family history of stroke, drug use, genetic conditions, certain medications (such as hormonal birth control pills), pregnancy, and menopause.