John Fetterman's Stroke Declared Technically Fatal
Published: 19:29 EDT, 30 October 2023 | Updated: 19:29 EDT, 30 October 2023
Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman stated that the stroke he experienced just days before the Democratic primary last year 'technically' ended his life, as he disclosed more somber details about the ordeal in an interview released Monday by Men's Health.
Fetterman survived both the stroke and a public battle with depression, telling writer Ryan D'Agostino that he overcame a dreadful 'paranoia' of conversing with journalists - fearing the 'recreational cruelty' shown to him on Fox News or on Twitter - and that he no longer has any fear of his mortality.
The 54-year-old legislator discussed the fortunate circumstances surrounding his proximity to Lancaster General Hospital in May 2022 when one side of his face began 'sagging.'
'And my eloquence began to falter - I was arguing the entire way until we arrived, but my mind was struggling to prevail - truly, I was in the process of perishing,' Fetterman said, recalling that he did not wish to cancel a campaign event at Millsville University.
The stroke was so severe, Fetterman asserted, that he would not have survived if he had experienced it while sleeping, 'or if we were in an isolated area of Pennsylvania,' he suggested.
Senator John Fetterman (left) is visited in the hospital by his wife Gisele (right) and three children after suffering a stroke in May 2022 just days before Pennsylvania's Democratic Senate primary - a race that he won
Gisele (left) and Senator John Fetterman (right) pose on the red carpet at the White House Correspondents' Dinner in April after Fetterman checked himself into Walter Reed for treatment for depression in February
Fetterman emerged victorious in the Democratic primary days later and faced Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz in the general election last November.
The former Braddock, Pennsylvania mayor stated that his late October debate against Oz - which received widespread criticism, as Fetterman has struggled with auditory processing difficulties since the stroke - was what initially plunged him into a profound depression.
He expressed that the political language used against him was 'distressing' and reminiscent of 'immature behavior in middle school.'
'I would never mock or say things like, "Ha ha ha, you have a limp!"' he said.
I fail to comprehend individuals who derive pleasure from such actions, as the subject of their amusement could potentially be related to them, such as a sibling, a parent, or even their own offspring.
He stated that he was operating on 'borrowed time' after the debate until Election Day.
'Assemble Scotch tape simply to keep me intact during the previous few weeks,' he stated.
D'Agostino noted that despite the hostility, Fetterman still emerged victorious - by a margin of five points.
John (left) and Gisele (right) Fetterman leave their polling place in Braddock, Pennsylvania on Election Day. The Democrat would later defeat Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz that night.
A campaign advertisement from Fetterman's Senate campaign last year. The Men's Health interview was published on Monday, around a year after the Democrat secured his Senate seat.
'I did triumph!' declared the senator. 'However, I did not anticipate winning, to be honest, because we were subjected to a brutal attack. "You're a fool." "You're incapacitated." Can you imagine if I had ridiculed someone who had suffered a stroke?'
'What the heck is - what the heck is wrong with you? You know? And at that point, I practically stopped eating,' Fetterman said. 'I was severely dehydrated.'
Fetterman admitted himself into Walter Reed in February to seek treatment for depression and thoughts of suicide.
His wife Gisele suspected for years that he was battling depression and studied it extensively.
Fetterman believed that he suffered from 'melancholy' as a result of his 'complex' background.
'[B]ecause I was an unintended and unwanted pregnancy to two teenagers who were just casually dating,' he explained. 'And I have always felt a sense of responsibility or shame because I was essentially a mistake. So, I have never been able to have anything but a low opinion of myself.'
Now, nearly a year since his election victory, Fetterman expressed his gratitude that President Joe Biden stood by his side.
'He has been exceptionally kind, supportive, and honorable,' Fetterman described. 'It would have been very easy for them to quietly distance themselves. But it was the opposite. He reaffirmed his support for me, and I will be forever grateful for that.'
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