BOSTON (AP) — The condition of Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and heir to a ketchup company fortune, was upgraded from critical to fair Monday, a day after she was first hospitalized, a State Department spokesman said.
Heinz Kerry, 74, was flown to a Boston hospital Sunday after first being taken to by ambulance to a hospital on Nantucket, where the couple has a home.
"After conducting tests overnight and this morning, doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital have upgraded Mrs. Teresa Heinz Kerry's condition from critical to fair," Kerry spokesman Glen Johnson said in a statement.
Heinz Kerry is undergoing further evaluation, Johnson said. He added that her husband and other family members were with her at the hospital and the family was touched by the outpouring of well wishes.
Heinz Kerry showed symptoms consistent with a seizure, said a person in close contact with the family who was not authorized to speak publicly about Heinz Kerry's condition and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Heinz Kerry was treated for breast cancer in late 2009 and has said she found out that she had cancer in her left breast after having an annual mammogram.
A month later, she underwent lumpectomies on both breasts after doctors also discovered what they thought was a benign growth on her right breast.
That diagnosis was initially confirmed in postoperative pathology, but two other doctors later found it to be malignant. She later had another pair of lumpectomies performed.
Heinz Kerry is the widow of former U.S. Sen. John Heinz and heir to the Heinz ketchup fortune. Heinz died in 1991 when a helicopter collided with a plane over a schoolyard in Merion, Pa. The senator was among seven people, including two children, who died in the crash.
Heinz Kerry and John Kerry married in 1995.
She enthusiastically participated in her husband's campaign for president in 2004 and became known for her strong opinions, sometimes attracting as much attention as the candidate.
Kerry accompanied his wife to the Boston hospital Sunday night and later went to his nearby home on Beacon Hill. He left the home shortly after 8 a.m. Monday and returned to the hospital by motorcade.
Before Sunday's emergency, John Kerry had been at the Nantucket home since returning from a nearly two-week, around-the-world diplomatic trip to the Mideast and Southeast Asia in the pre-dawn hours of July 3.
Before his wife's medical problem, he had planned to return Monday to Washington, where he and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew were to co-host high-level strategic and economic talks with senior Chinese officials on Wednesday and Thursday.
Kerry had also spoken of his desire to travel to Israel starting at the end of the week for what would be his sixth trip there as secretary. State Department officials said Kerry's schedule may now change depending on his wife's health.
Statement from Glen Johnson, personal spokesman for John Kerry:
"Teresa Heinz Kerry continues to improve and remains in fair condition at Massachusetts General Hospital, while doctors seek the cause of seizure-like symptoms she experienced on Sunday. As evaluations continue, she, Secretary of State John Kerry, and their family are deeply grateful that physicians have ruled out a variety of possible triggers or other ailments, including heart attack, stroke, or a brain tumor. The family does not anticipate making any further statements until Mrs. Heinz Kerry is discharged from the hospital. However, the Secretary, his wife, their children, grandchildren, and extended family want to say a profound thank-you to everyone who has reached out and offered their best wishes. The well-wishes have been humbling and overwhelming, including tweets and Facebook postings; flower arrangements and offers of food; and messages of comfort from other MGH patients, former staff, Senate and House colleagues and members of the Executive Branch, as well as many dear and longtime friends and the Secretary's 2004 presidential campaign team. The family has also been touched by messages and phone calls from leaders in foreign governments who know and have worked with the Secretary and Mrs. Heinz Kerry. With his wife's condition stable and improving, the Secretary will briefly travel to Washington today to open the long-planned U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue. Members of the family will remain at the hospital before the Secretary's return to Boston."