Wife of Sen. McCain leaves hospital after stroke - East Valley Tribune: News

Wife of Sen. McCain leaves hospital after stroke

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Posted: Friday, April 16, 2004 1:51 pm | Updated: 5:07 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Cindy McCain was released from the hospital Friday, tired but expecting a full recovery after suffering a mild stroke earlier in the week.

Her husband, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., picked her up at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix and drove her home.

Cindy McCain, 49, was at lunch with friends Monday when she said she began feeling strange.

“The next thing I know, I couldn't talk,” she said, adding that her friends took her to the hospital. “I don't remember much else really. There was no pain. I have no pain right now. I just realized something was wrong.”

Though she had long been on medication for high blood pressure, Cindy McCain said that after she recently lost weight her blood pressure came down and she stopped taking the medicine.

“That was a huge mistake,” she said.

She was diagnosed at Barrow as having had a minor stroke, which caused bleeding into her brain but not a lack of blood flow to the brain, said Dr. Robert Spetzler, director of Barrow. Though her speech was slightly slurred initially, there were no signs of it Friday and Spetzler said he expected her to make a full recovery.

She will have to remain on blood pressure medication the rest of her life, Spetzler said.

It is unusual, but not unheard of, for a woman of Cindy McCain's age to have a minor stroke, he said.

Sen. McCain spoke only briefly as his wife was released, saying he should have included a chapter about Cindy in his new book, (“Why Courage Matters: The Way to a Braver Life”).

Spetzler said there is unlikely to be any pain associated with her condition. In 1994, she announced she had been addicted to pain killers, but she had stopped taking them two years earlier.

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