Fetterman discharged from hospital, will return to Senate after recess
Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday, after spending several weeks receiving in-patient treatment for depression.
“I am extremely grateful to the incredible team at Walter Reed,” Fetterman said in a statement. “The care they provided changed my life. I will have more to say about this soon, but for now I want everyone to know that depression is treatable, and treatment works.”
“This isn’t about politics — right now there are people who are suffering with depression in red counties and blue counties,” he continued. “If you need help, please get help.”
The Pennsylvania senator will spend the next two weeks back home in the Keystone State while the Senate is in recess and will return to Washington, D.C., when the session resumes on April 17, his office said.
“I am so happy to be home. I’m excited to be the father and husband I want to be, and the senator Pennsylvania deserves. Pennsylvanians have always had my back, and I will always have theirs,” Fetterman added.
Fetterman’s depression is now in remission, according to Dr. David Williamson, the neuropsychiatrist at Walter Reed who oversaw the senator’s treatment.
He presented with “severe symptoms” of depression when he was first admitted to Walter Reed for treatment in mid-February, including “low energy and motivation, minimal speech, poor sleep, slowed thinking, slowed movement, feelings of guilt and worthlessness,” Williamson said in a discharge briefing provided by the senator’s office.
Fetterman had also reportedly stopped eating and taking fluids, leading to low blood pressure and “potentially affecting brain circulation,” Williamson also noted.
His mood “steadily improved” throughout his six weeks of treatment, and he was also fitted for hearing aids after the doctors identified mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss on both sides.
“With improvement in his depression, improvement in the patient’s speech abilities was noticeable,” Williamson said, adding, “His depression, now resolved, may have been a barrier to engagement.”
The Pennsylvania senator suffered a stroke shortly before the Democratic primary last May that has resulted in ongoing auditory processing issues.
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