Senator Kennedy suffers apparent seizure, taken to hospital

Senator Robert Byrd (D. West Virginia)
Senator Robert Byrd (D. West Virginia)
Senator Ted Kennedy (D. Mass) File Photo
Senator Ted Kennedy (D. Mass) File Photo


WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Edward Kennedy has been taken from an inauguration luncheon because of medical problems.

Senate colleague Orrin Hatch said it appeared that Kennedy had a "seizure."

He says he was with Kennedy when the senator was put into an ambulance, and that Kennedy was conscious and gave him a grin.

Kennedy, who's 76, has been battling a brain tumor.

A fellow senator, Democrat Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, says President Barack Obama went over to check on Kennedy after he became ill.

Kennedy had attended Obama's oath-taking on the Capitol's west Front.

Obama later told the luncheon that his prayers are with Kennedy.

Senator Robert Byrd

There were conflicting reports that a second U.S. Senator, Robert Byrd (D) from West Virginia, also was taken to the hospital.

Sen. Byrd's office says the 91-year West Virginian decided to leave an inauguration luncheon after Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was stricken, but not because of any medical problem of his own.

Spokesman Mark Ferrell said that Byrd was sitting at the Capitol luncheon with Sen. Kennedy when the Massachusetts senator took sick.

Ferrell said, "Sen. Byrd did not have a medical issue - he is just fine." Ferrell added: "Sen. Byrd made the decision to leave the luncheon once Sen. Kennedy was being taken from the room by medicalpersonnel.

Sen. Byrd is currently in his own office in the Senate Hart Building and is doing fine, though remains very concerned about his close friend Ted Kennedy."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)