BOSTON (Reuters) - Ailing Sen. Edward Kennedy, a liberal giant and patriarch of America’s most storied political family, was examined and released from a Massachusetts hospital on Friday after suffering a mild seizure, officials said.
“Senator Kennedy experienced a mild seizure at home in Hyannis Port today and was taken to Cape Cod Hospital for examination,” said a statement from the office of the 76-year-old Massachusetts Democrat, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in May.
“Doctors believe the incident was triggered by a change in medication. Senator Kennedy will return home tonight and looks forward to watching the debate,” the statement added, referring to the presidential candidates’ debate between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama on Friday night.
Sgt. Ben Baxter of the Barnstable police department near Kennedy’s Cape Cod home said in a phone interview that Kennedy “was treated and released.”
Baxter said police received a call at 5:12 p.m. (2112 GMT) that Kennedy was not feeling well and took him to the hospital by ambulance and police escort.
The 46-year Senate veteran was awake and alert when the ambulance arrived, Baxter said.
Kennedy, the younger brother of slain U.S. President John F. Kennedy, had successful surgery in June to remove a malignant brain tumor and has undergone chemotherapy.
Last month, he made a dramatic appearance at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in support of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Kennedy, long a champion of expanding public health care, also returned to Capitol Hill on July 9 to cast a tiebreaking Senate vote on a Medicare health bill.
He has been one of the most respected as well as polarizing figures in U.S. politics. He has long been a hero among fellow liberals, while scorned by many conservatives.
Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Peter Cooney