Sen. John Fetterman Improving, Though Timing on Return to Work Still Unclear
Sen. John Fetterman, who checked himself into Walter Reed Hospital for depression five weeks ago, should be back at work soon, his aide said Thursday.
The Pennsylvania senator suffered a stroke last May that nearly killed him, and depression strikes one in three stroke survivors.
Still, Fetterman's depression recovery is going well, spokesman Joe Calvello said Thursday.
“He'll be back soon, at least over a week, but soon,” Calvello told the Associated Press.
While hospitalized, Fetterman continues to receive daily briefings from his Chief of Staff Adam Jentleson, Calvello added.
He is also issuing statements through his office and sponsoring legislation, the AP reported.
“We want to give him the space to recuperate,” Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, said during a Wednesday news conference, the AP reported. “He needs it, it's fair, it's right. There are other people in the Senate who have taken their time to recuperate but I'm confident he's going to come back and be an outstanding and fine senator.”
Prior to his hospitalization, Fetterman had been withdrawn and not showing an interest in talking or eating, the AP reported. He saw Capitol physician Dr. Brian Monahan, who recommended he be admitted to Walter Reed, just weeks into his time as a senator.
After his stroke, he also had surgery to implant a pacemaker with a defibrillator because he has cardiomyopathy and atrial fibrillation, the AP reported.
As a result of the stroke, Fetterman, 53, also has an auditory processing disorder, making it hard to quickly process conversation. He works around that issue by using a device to transcribe spoken words into written text in real time, the AP reported.
“I'm just happy he's getting the time that he needs and most people understand that these things don't occur over two or three weeks, it takes a little longer,” Pennsylvania's other senator, Democrat Bob Casey, said, the AP reported.
Fetterman's aides and his wife, Gisele, have released photos of the senator smiling while he recovers. His aides are continuing to move forward, opening new regional offices in Pennsylvania, the AP reported.
The American Stroke Association has more on depression and stroke.
SOURCE: Associated Press