Last Updated on June 5, 2022
Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, a Democrat who is now seeking to fill the state’s open Senate seat, admitted this week that he concealed a heart condition while on the campaign trail. Fetterman recently suffered a stroke, though he has vowed to continue the campaign.
In a statement Friday, Fetterman admitted that he “almost died” after suffering a stroke on May 13. He also revealed that he had cardiomyopathy, which makes it more difficult for the heart to pump blood throughout the body.
The statement came after Dr. Ramesh Chandra, Fetterman’s cardiologist, published a letter saying that he diagnosed the Senate hopeful with a heart condition in 2017.
“I first saw John in 2017 at UPMC East. He was experiencing swelling in his feet and came to get it checked out. This is when I diagnosed him with atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm, along with a decreased heart pump,” Dr. Chandra wrote.
“I had prescribed medications along with improved diet and exercise and asked him to follow up again in the following months. Instead, I did not see him again until yesterday,” Chandra wrote after Fetterman suffered his stroke. “John did not go to any doctor for five years and did not continue taking his medications.”
Chandra went on to state that if Fetterman listens to his doctors and adheres to the guidelines, he will be fit enough to campaign and serve in the Senate.
“John is well compensated and stable. He now has a pacemaker — defibrillator. From what I and John’s doctors in Lancaster have observed, the device is working perfectly and he is doing well.”
In a statement of his own, Fetterman admitted that he ignored advice from doctors on how to manage the heart condition he has known about for years. “As my doctor said, I should have taken my health more seriously. The stroke I suffered on May 13 didn’t come out of nowhere,” Fetterman wrote in a statement.
He expressed regret at ignoring the advice of his doctors and admitted that he “almost died” as a result of the stroke.
Fetterman concluded by stating that he will be back on the campaign trail in the near future. “This race is so important for Pennsylvania and for the country. I’m going to be ready for it, and I can’t wait to get back on the trail.”
JUST IN: In a statement, @JohnFetterman admits "I almost died" because he didn't take care of his health well enough. Didn't see a doctor for 5 years. Releases doc note that says if he stays healthy "he should be able to campaign and serve in the U.S. Senate without a problem." pic.twitter.com/J2NgCvOfCl
— Ed O'Keefe (@edokeefe) June 3, 2022
John Fetterman reported after his stroke that he had suffered no cognitive damage and believes he can continue on. He now has a definitive opponent in Dr. Mehmet Oz, who officially secured the GOP nomination after a long recount process.
The race projects to be one of the closest, if not the closest U.S. Senate race this cycle and will likely set spending records.