BOSTON (AP) - Doctors treating Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, have ruled out several serious conditions such as a brain tumor, stroke or heart attack as possible causes of the seizure-like symptoms she experienced, a spokesman for Kerry said Tuesday.
Heinz Kerry, 74, was flown to Massachusetts General Hospital after becoming ill Sunday on the Massachusetts island of Nantucket, where the couple owns a home.
Her condition continues to improve and she remained in fair condition at the hospital, State Department spokesman Glen Johnson said in a statement. While evaluations continued to determine what caused the seizure-like symptoms, Johnson said she, her husband and other family members were "deeply grateful" to learn that doctors had eliminated a brain tumor, stroke or heart attack as possible triggers.
The positive developments would also enable Kerry to temporarily resume his official schedule. Kerry will "briefly travel" to Washington on Tuesday to open scheduled meetings between the U.S. and China on strategic and economic issues.
"Members of the family will remain at the hospital before the Secretary's return to Boston," Johnson said.
The family did not plan to release any further information about Heinz Kerry's condition until she was discharged from the hospital, he added.
Heinz Kerry, an heir to the Heinz ketchup fortune, is the widow of former U.S. Sen. John Heinz, who was killed along with six others in 1991 when a helicopter collided with a plane over a schoolyard in Merion, Pa. She married Kerry, a longtime senator from Massachusetts, in 1995.
In 2009, Heinz Kerry was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent lumpectomies on both breasts.
Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, resigned from the U.S. Senate on Feb. 1 after being confirmed to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as Secretary of State.
Johnson said the family was humbled and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for Heinz Kerry and well wishes that had poured in over the past several days, including those from former congressional colleagues and staff. The family was also touched by several messages and phone calls received from foreign leaders, he said.
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."