According to a medical assessment from his primary care physician, John Fetterman, a Democratic candidate for the Senate in Pennsylvania, is making a good recovery after a stroke he suffered in late April.
Clifford Chen, MD, came to the conclusion after evaluating Fetterman that “he has no job constraints and can perform full duty in public office.” Currently, Fetterman serves as lieutenant governor.
Chen did point out, however, that the Senate candidate has demonstrated signs of an auditory processing impairment, which can lead to hearing issues. This implies that Fetterman doesn’t always comprehend spoken words correctly, although his communication abilities have apparently considerably improved since his first speech therapy session.
The most typical sort of stroke, known as an ischemic stroke, occurred to Fetterman. Ischemic strokes, which occur when an artery is blocked and prevent blood from reaching the brain, account for over 87% of all stroke cases.
A vascular neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Lee Schwamm, MD, thinks that given Fetterman’s symptoms, it’s likely that he had a blockage in his middle cerebral artery, even if we don’t know much more about his stroke. Additionally, if Fetterman is right-handed, his language systems are located on the left side of the brain, therefore the stroke would have specifically affected the left middle cerebral artery, according to Schwamm.
Using visual aids like a teleprompter and closed captioning for recent interviews, Republican candidate Mehmet Oz, a board-certified heart surgeon, will be Fetterman’s opponent in a future debate. Following his stroke, Oz has been particularly vociferous regarding Fetterman’s health, even going so far as to say that the candidate’s wife might have to take his position as senator.
However, experts believe that to be an exaggeration.
According to Gregory Albers, MD, neurologist and head of Stanford University’s Stroke Center, people with minor receptive language impairment typically don’t experience any drop in IQ and their cognitive abilities are unaffected. He continued by saying that those who have had a stroke may take a long time to recover.
Albers claims that recuperation will continue for several months even though it happens most quickly in the first few.
A political argument, or any setting that calls for more quick thinking and communication, according to Schwamm, will be the best indicator of his ability. However, he does not anticipate that Fetterman will perform at his peak within a debating environment, which may be stressful for anyone, stroke victim or not.
Additionally, according to Schwamm, we have many senators and representatives who require wheelchairs or canes for mobility, who are taking medication for heart disease, or who have some degree of dementia, but we do not bar them from participating in politics or remove them from office due to their medical issues.
According to Schwamm, making accommodations is not a sign of weakness; rather, it’s a way to level the playing field and enable everyone to provide their best efforts. “Even if you’ve never had a stroke, we have to accept the fact that people absorb information differently. The end result of their labour, not the process, is what counts.