“The neurologists, they were really impressed with the progress. Cognitively he is perfect and well on his way to a full recovery,” said Gisele Fetterman. “Everything went well with the cardiologists. His heart looks good. The pacemaker is working as it should.”
Gisele Fetterman, however, said her husband’s doctors “want him to continue resting.”
Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, has been recovering at his home in Braddock since being discharged from hospital late last month following his stroke. The incident took place a few days before he won the Senate primary with nearly 59 percent of the vote.
Fetterman said in an earlier statement that atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat also known as “A-fib,” led to the stroke. He said the doctors “quickly and completely” removed the blood clot and that he had no cognitive damage. They later implanted a pacemaker with a defibrillator in his heart.
Gisele Fetterman said Wednesday that his doctors did not say when he could return to the track. But, she said, “the campaign will soon have an announcement about it.”
Pennsylvania’s Senate election is one of the most controversial races in the country this year – control of the Senate may depend on it. Holding on to the seat now occupied by retiring GOP senator Pat Toomey is the key to Republicans’ path to regaining a majority. For Democrats, it is considered one of the party’s best options for pickup in the Senate.
It is not yet clear which GOP candidate Fetterman will face in the fall. Republicans Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick are currently locked in a recount, leaving the Senate contestant in an unusual state of limbo on both sides.
Despite several requests, Fetterman’s campaign has not allowed journalists to interview his doctors. But some external doctors have been quoted in media reports as saying that defibrillators are not used to treat atrial fibrillation, and question whether Fetterman has an additional heart disease that has not yet been revealed.
Gisele Fetterman has previously said that is not the case. Asked if doctors revealed a new heart disease on Wednesday, she said no.
“Not at all,” she said. “The heart works great. The pacemaker helps regulate A-fib.”
As for when the press will be able to talk to Fetterman’s doctors, she said: “We are working on it. It will come next time.”
Gisele Fetterman also talked about the changes her husband has made to his health since his stroke. She said he has changed his diet dramatically.
“The diet is definitely different,” she said. “Very low sodium levels. He monitors it. Eats a lot more of green and folic acid and B-12, that sort of thing.”
She said her husband has also returned to walk. He has always been a “great hiker,” she said, but it became harder for him to do in the winter as well as in the final months of the campaign. Now she said, “The hike has returned with full force. He is back to his usual milestone.”
Fetterman has been taking blood-thinning medication since his stroke. No new medication was prescribed during his Wednesday follow-up, Gisele Fetterman said.
In general, she said her husband “is fine – he is anxious and annoying and wants to do everything so you know it’s like in the old days.”
He has run errands and spent time with their three children, she said.
Fetterman has returned to some of his campaign assignments. Gisele Fetterman said her husband is expected to speak with President Joe Biden this week, a call that had to be postponed twice earlier because he was resting.
She said he has filmed several videos, “read everything non-stop” and held a meeting with his senior campaign staff on Wednesday.
“Less than three weeks ago, he had a stroke. So I think it’s really remarkable how much he does, ”she said.
On Wednesday, she added that doctors also removed their previous restriction on him having to perform heavy lifting.
“He can not get away with not doing any housework anymore,” she said.