Doctors are blaming fatigue for the seizure that Sen. Edward Kennedy, ill with a brain tumor, suffered during a post-inauguration luncheon for President Barack Obama.
Edward Aulisi, M.D., Washington Hospital Center's neurosurgery chairman, says Kennedy is awake, talking with family and friends and feeling well.
In a statement released by Kennedy's office, Aulisi said: "After testing, we believe the incident was brought on by simple fatigue."
Kennedy will remain at the hospital overnight for observation and go home in the morning.
Kennedy (D-Mass.), ill with a brain tumor, suffered an apparent seizure at a luncheon and was rushed by ambulance from the Capitol to a hospital.
Earlier, a spokeswoman at the 841-bed Washington Hospital Center said Kennedy, who is a strong advocate of healthcare reform, was awake and answering questions when he arrived and was able to receive a phone call from Obama. His wife, Vicki, and son, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) were with him.
It looked like a seizure, said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) who told reporters he was with Kennedy until they reached the ambulance.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said he and Mrs. Kennedy took hold of the senator as he became ill.
Added Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), It took a lot out of him. Seizures are exhausting.
Even so, Dodd quoted Kennedy as saying, Ill be OK; Ill see you later as he was put into the ambulance.
The good news is hes gonna be fine, Dodd added.
Kennedy, 76, had appeared in good health and spirits a few hours earlier when he stepped out of the Capitol and onto the inauguration platform where Obama took the oath of office. His endorsement of the former Illinois senator had come at a pivotal point in the Democratic presidential race, and the older man campaigned energetically for the younger one.
Kennedy has suffered seizures since he was first stricken and had surgery for his tumor last year, but it was not known what caused him to fall ill at the early afternoon lunch.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) told reporters that Obama noticed when Kennedy became ill, and rushed over to his table.
There was a call for silence throughout the room, Rockefeller said. The president went over immediately. The lights went down, just to reduce the heat, I think.
In his remarks, Obama said his prayers were with the stricken senator and his family.
He was there when the Voting Rights Act passed, along with John Lewis who was a warrior for justice, the newly inaugurated president said.
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 thats true for all of us, Obama said.
Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), 91, also left the luncheon early, but his office and others said his health was not the reason.
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