Maryland Senator treated at GW Hospital for “minor stroke”

Media Credit: File Photo by Alexander Welling

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., was admitted to GW Hospital over the weekend, but he said he expects to return to work this week.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., is being treated at GW Hospital after suffering a “minor stroke” over the weekend, according to a statement released Sunday evening.

Van Hollen said he was admitted to GW Hospital after experiencing “lightheadedness and acute neck pain” while delivering a speech at a Western Maryland Democratic Party Summit. He said doctors told him that he shouldn’t experience long-term effects from the incident, but that he should be kept under observation at the hospital for the time being.

He said he planned to return to work later this week, but his staff would curtail his schedule for the next few days.

“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,” he said in the statement.

Van Hollen said he received an angiogram and physicians found a small venous tear in the back of his head. He is currently running for reelection and is expected to defeat business owner Michelle Smith in July’s Democratic primary due to his high approval rating among Democrats.

“I look forward to returning to work in the Senate later this week and thank the medical team for their excellent care,” he said.

Van Hollen’s hospitalization comes on the same day as Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, currently the frontrunner in the Democratic primary to replace retiring Republican Sen. Patrick Toomey, also announced he had suffered a stroke earlier in the weekend. He said doctors found a clot in his heart, which had caused both a stroke and cardiovascular issues.

“The amazing doctors here were able to quickly and completely remove the clot, reversing the stroke, they got my heart under control as well,” Fetterman said in a statement released Sunday. “It’s a good reminder to listen to your body and be aware of the signs.”

Democrats control the tiebreaking vote in an even 50-50 partisan split in the Senate, meaning Van Hollen’s temporary absence from the chamber puts the party’s majority at risk as lawmakers propose legislation on topics ranging from abortion rights to military aid for Ukraine.

Van Hollen, 63, has represented Maryland in the Senate since 2017, after serving seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives for the state’s 8th congressional district.

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