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Kennedy Suffers Seizure at Senate Luncheon, Removed by Stretcher, Byrd Also Ill


MSNBC reports that Senator Ted Kennedy, who has been in vigorous good spirits, collapsed at the Senate luncheon and was taken from the room on a stretcher.

There are ambulances on the premises, awaiting a report as to whether he would be treated on site or taken to a hospital. 

UPDATE 3:38pm eastern:

Washington Hospital Center as reported by msnbc, Senator Kennedy is awake and answering questions.

UPDATE: 3:30pm msnbc

Senator Dodd re Kennedy "The good news is he’s going to be fine."

Senator Byrd’s office reports that he was not taken to a hospital, was in discomfort and it is not more serious than that.

UPDATE 3:08pm eastern:

Howard Fineman/msnbc live report:

Byrd pale looked ill, in discomfort, they called for medical staff and escorted Senator Byrd out.Then literally a minute or so later Kennedy began having convulsions. Sergeant made an announcement calling for medical staff immediately. People stood up in silence. He was in a wheelchair anyway, and was reclined back into what had turned into a hospital gurney. According to staff he appeared to be having consulvions as he was escorted out, with the others in the room standing in silence. Thinking of the frailty of us all.

More from Detroit Free Press 

CNN emerging story

"Sen. Edward Kennedy has collapsed at a luncheon honoring President Obama. Paramedics have responded to the scene."

UPI source

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) — U.S. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., collapsed and was taken from the luncheon at the Capitol marking the inauguration of Barack Obama as president.

ABC News reported Sen. Robert Byrd, D-WVa., was so upset he was removed from the luncheon as well.

The incident came before Congress presented Obama and Vice President Joe Biden crystal balls and photographs of the inauguration commemorating their ascension to office.

ABC initially said Kennedy, who has been battling brain cancer, suffered convulsions.

Obama speaking at the lunch, per Olbermann/MSNBC:

Our prayers are with Ted Kennedy and his family


Ted Kennedy was taken out of Barack Obama’s Statuary Hall Congressional luncheon after suffering an apparent seizure — a few minutes after Sen. Robert Byrd was removed in his wheelchair under the supervision of medical personnel.

"He was there when the voting rights act passed….so I would be lying to you if I did not say that right now a part of me is with him, I think that’s true for all of us," Obama told dignitaries gathered at his lunch . "It’s a joyous time but it’s also a sobering time..My prayers are with him and his family."

The pastor delivering the parting invocation offered a prayer for the Massachusetts Democrat and said he had "responded well" to medical personnel.

Byrd was conscious and had been having trouble eating, according to a witness.

Kennedy, who underwent brain cancer surgery last year, was taken to the Rayburn room after suffering an apparent convulsion during dessert, House officials told our Patrick O’Connor.

A police radio picked up a call for paramedics to help someone stricken with a seizure and Kennedy has been taken to a local hospital, O’Connor said. His condition isn’t yet known.

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