PHOENIX — Cindy McCain, wife of Sen. John McCain, suffered a small stroke and was hospitalized in stable condition Tuesday.
McCain said his wife would not require surgery or a lengthy hospital stay.
“She’s fine. Her progress is excellent,’’ he said.
Cindy McCain, 49, suffered minor bleeding in her brain, and her speech is mildly affected, said Robert Spetzler, director of the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
He said the bleeding Monday was caused by the rupture of a small blood vessel, possibly from a spike of high blood pressure.
In the past, Cindy McCain has dealt with high blood pressure, McCain said Tuesday outside his home.
His wife started feeling weak and dizzy while having lunch Monday, so she went to the hospital, McCain said.
The 67-year-old Arizona Republican was in New York City on a book tour at the time. He flew back Monday night and was with her at the hospital Tuesday morning, McCain said.
“She’s all tired but she’s feeling fine,’’ he said of his wife, a former high school teacher who taught special education.
The bleeding had stopped, and he expected his wife to leave intensive care Wednesday and return home by the weekend, McCain said. His wife’s speech has improved in the last 12 hours, he said.
Cindy McCain, the millionaire daughter of an Arizona beer magnate, recently traveled to Sri Lanka to observe the work of the HALO Trust, a group that has been working to remove land mines and unexploded ordnance from past battlefields, according to the senator’s office.
In August 1994, she disclosed she had been addicted to painkillers and had several times stolen medicine from a charity she founded. She said she became addicted to the medication while suffering severe back problems and quit in 1992.
The McCains have four children, ages 12 to 19.
Family members remain optimistic but cautious, said Betsey Bayless, Cindy McCain’s longtime friend and director of the Arizona Department of Administration.
“This has got to be very tough on her children, who are not used to seeing her in the hospital,’’ Bayless said. “They’re used to seeing their mother the strong one.’’
When McCain had health troubles, it was Cindy McCain who was at his side, Bayless said.
McCain underwent surgery for skin cancer in 2000. He also had a melanoma removed from his shoulder in 1993.
“She was always the one taking care of him, now here she is in the hospital,’’ Bayless said.