Boston, Politics, Television
May 17, 2008
MIKE BARNICLE ON MSNBC: About the accomplishments of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy

Report: Sen. Kennedy rushed to hospital

76-year-old Democrat airlifted to hospital after stroke-like symptoms


MSNBC News Services

updated 9:15 a.m. PT, Sat., May. 17, 2008

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts has been hospitalized in Boston after suffering stroke-like symptoms, The Associated Press has learned.

Kennedy, 76, was taken to the hospital overnight, said an official who requested anonymity. There was no word on his condition.

The long-serving senator is a leading liberal voice in the United States and has actively campaigned for Barack Obama in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Kennedy had preventive surgery at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital in October to unclog a partially blocked carotid artery in his neck.

The blockage was discovered during a routine check of Kennedy’s back and spine, doctors said. A blocked carotid artery can lead to a stroke and death, they said.

Health woes
Kennedy has suffered from back problems since a plane crash in 1964 in which the pilot and one of Kennedy’s aides were killed and the senator was pulled from the wreckage with a back injury, punctured lung, broken ribs and internal bleeding.

The youngest brother of assassinated President John F. Kennedy, Kennedy was elected in 1962 and currently serves as chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. He ran for the presidency in 1980.

He helped win an increase in the national minimum wage this year and worked with Republicans to produce broad immigration reform, which failed in the Senate after stiff opposition from conservative Republicans. Kennedy has been in the Senate since election in 1962, filling out the term won by his brother, John F. Kennedy. He is the Senate’s second senior member.

This breaking news story will be updated.