Bernie Sanders had heart attack, campaign confirms

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol January 30, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol January 30, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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LAS VEGAS — Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders suffered a heart attack, his campaign confirmed on Friday after he departed Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas.

“I want to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff at the Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center for the excellent care that they provided,” Sanders said in a statement Friday. “After two and a half days in the hospital, I feel great, and after taking a short time off, I look forward to getting back to work.”

Sanders’ treating physicians — Arturo Marchand Jr., MD and Arjun Gururaj, MD — confirmed that the senator was diagnosed with a “myocardial infarction” and had two stents placed in a blocked coronary artery, noting that “all other arteries were normal.” Myocardial infarction is the medical term for a heart attack.

They added that Sanders’ hospital stay and treatment were “uneventful with good expected progress,” and that he had been instructed “to follow up with his personal physician.”

Sanders, of Vermont, experienced “chest discomfort” at a campaign event on Tuesday night, according to senior adviser Jeff Weaver.

Weaver said on Wednesday that Sanders will be “canceling his events and appearances until further notice.” On Thursday, his campaign confirmed that he will be taking part in the next Democratic primary debate on October 15 and that he plans to return home to Vermont in the coming days before taking part in the debate.

Sanders’ wife Jane said in a statement Thursday afternoon that her husband is “up and about” and has not undergone any additional procedures” since the stent insertion.

“He’s been spending the last couple of days just having a good time, talking to people, friends and family and so many well wishers that have called and his friends and then of course the well wishers that have tweeted, emailed, called, all of our phones. And we just really want to thank them,” Jane Sanders said.

Sanders also tweeted late Wednesday afternoon to address his health, tying it to one of his central campaign issues.

“Thanks for all the well wishes. I’m feeling good. I’m fortunate to have good health care and great doctors and nurses helping me to recover,” he wrote, before quickly returning to his core political message: “None of us know when a medical emergency might affect us. And no one should fear going bankrupt if it occurs. Medicare for All!”

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