Mass. Senate President Spilka reveals she had a “mild stroke”

BOSTON — Massachusetts State Senate President Karen Spilka says she is recovering from “mild stroke.”

The Ashland Democrat says it happened in mid-November as she was planning to travel to Washington, D.C., for the signing of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill by President Biden.

“I was diagnosed by my doctors as having had a mild stroke,” Spilka said. “My symptoms, a severe headache and nausea, were not the typical signs of stroke. As they worsened, I canceled a planned trip to Washington, D.C. on November 15. The next day, I sought medical care. I returned to working in a remote capacity the following day and have been working with colleagues and staff throughout my recovery.”

“I wanted to share my story... because I wanted people to see firsthand that I’m doing well. I also feel it would be a missed opportunity not to speak up. I hope that by telling my story, I can help raise awareness about those who have survived and thrived after experiencing stroke, and encourage those who are experiencing symptoms to seek help immediately,” said Spilka.

In a statement, Spilka also announced plans to run for re-election in 2022.

“I am proud of what we have accomplished in the Senate and energized by the work ahead to support the residents of our Commonwealth. We have important work to do on mental health care, childcare, our climate and much more,” said Spilka.

She also thanked her family and Senate colleagues for their support.

According to the State House News Service, Spilka’s counterpart in the House, Speaker Ron Mariano, had his own health-related episode earlier this year. The Quincy Democrat was hospitalized while in Florida and fitted with a pacemaker after experiencing “some medical discomfort” in June. He said last month that he now feels “great.”

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