Several publications are now reporting that Teresa Heinz Kerry suffered a grand mal seizure.
We reported earlier that Heinz Kerry, the wife of Secretary of State John Kerry, was hospitalized for unknown reasons on Sunday. She arrived at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in critical condition, but doctors managed to stabilize her that afternoon.
She was upgraded to fair condition on Monday, according to the secretary’s spokesman. She continues to undergo medical evaluation.
A grand mal seizure is regarded as the most serious kind by medical professionals, as it involves the entire body and causes the victim to lose consciousness.
“It’s an electrical storm in the brain,” Dr. Nathan Fountain, director of the F.E. Dreifuss Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at the University of Virginia said.
The strength and duration of a grand mal seizure tends to leave the patient exhausted and disoriented. Dr. Fountain said it taxes the body like running a 100-yard dash.
The cause of grand mal seizures is often unknown, especially if it’s an isolated incident.
“Most often, we don’t figure it out,” Dr. Fountain said. “Almost anything that affects the brain can cause this.”
We’ll update you on Teresa Heinz Kerry’s condition when more information is available. Until then, her family has released this statement: “The family is grateful for the outpouring of support it has received and aware of the interest in her condition, but they ask for privacy at this time.”