decision 2022

US Senate Hopeful Fetterman Undergoes Successful Pacemaker Implant Surgery

Fetterman, who cast his vote today using an emergency absentee ballot from Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital, suffered a stroke last week due to an irregular heartbeat and had surgery to remove a blood clot.

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UPDATE: John Fetterman won the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, NBC News projects. New details HERE.

John Fetterman, Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor and the frontrunner in the Democratic primary for a U.S. Senate seat, underwent a successful pacemaker implant surgery on Tuesday.

“John Fetterman just completed a successful procedure to implant a pacemaker with a defibrillator,” a spokesperson wrote. “The procedure began at 3:15 p.m., John was released at 5:56 p.m., and he has been given the all-clear that it was successful. He is resting at the hospital and recovering well. John continues to improve every day, and he is still on track for a full recovery.”

Fetterman suffered a stroke late last week and had emergency surgery to remove a blood clot at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital over the weekend. The pacemaker surgery on Tuesday regulated his heart rate and rhythm and addressed the underlying cause of his stroke, atrial fibrillation (A-fib).

Pacemaker surgery likely requires the patient to remain hospitalized for at least a day after the operation, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Fetterman said he cast his vote from Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital using an emergency absentee ballot.

Fetterman’s wife, Gisele Barreto Fetterman, appeared in-person at a polling place in Braddock to vote, his campaign said.

In a statement on Sunday, 52-year-old Fetterman said he was hospitalized on Friday due to not feeling well. He then learned he suffered a stroke that was caused by a clot from his “heart being in an A-fib rhythm for too long.” 

“The amazing doctors here were able to quickly and completely remove the clot, reversing the stroke, they got my heart under control as well,” Fetterman wrote. “It's a good reminder to listen to your body and be aware of the signs.”

Fetterman said he is feeling much better and that he didn’t suffer any “cognitive damage.” He did not say how much longer he would be in the hospital.

“They’re keeping me here for now for observation, but I should be out of here sometime soon,” Fetterman wrote. “The doctors have assured me that I’ll be able to get back on the trail, but first I need to take a minute, get some rest, and recover.”

The Wolf Administration announced Tuesday evening that Senator Jake Corman will temporarily assume the duties of acting lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania as Fetterman recovers.

For all the candidates, issues and important dates that voters should know about in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, go to NBC10's Decision 2022 page. You'll find tools to help you navigate the midterm elections, including when to vote and who will be on your ballots in the primaries and November general elections.

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