Sen. Tim Johnson

I'd like to take this opportunity to extend my best wishes to Sen. Johnson and his family. Any serious medical problem, especially one that is sudden and unexpected, is a terrible ordeal. I'm sure that I speak for many people on the Left and the Right when I say that I hope his recovery is swift and complete.

Although I understand that a medical condition is incredibly personal, the fact that Sen. Johnson is the deciding vote in the U.S. Senate means that his condition is also of concern to every America.

Here's what I know:

The front page at Daily Kos has this:

According to Johnson's attending physician:
Subsequent to his admission to George Washington University Hospital, Senator Tim Johnson was found to have had intracerebral bleed, caused by Congenital Arteriovenous Malformation. He underwent successful surgery to evacuate the blood and stabilize the malformation.
Senator Johnson's wife, Barbara Johnson, released a statement saying:
The Johnson family is encouraged and optimistic. We are grateful for the prayers and good wishes of friends, supporters and South Dakotans. We are especially grateful for the work of the doctors and all medical personnel in GWU Hospital.
The medical specialist on CNN describes "Congenital Arteriovenous Malformation" as, "a cluster of blood vessels that grow too close together and can sometimes bleed. It's often congenital, meaning someone has it their entire lives...hypertension or some other factor causes can cause it to bleed."

Senator Johnson remains in critical condition, but that was described as standard after a surgery like this. A press conference will be held this morning to give further updates on the Senator's condition.
The AP has this report:
WASHINGTON - Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota was in critical but stable condition Thursday after late-night emergency brain surgery, creating political drama about which party will control the Senate next month if he is unable to continue in office.

Johnson suffered from bleeding in the brain caused by a congenital malformation, the U.S. Capitol physician said, describing the surgery as successful. The condition, present at birth, causes tangled blood vessels.

"The senator is recovering without complication," the physician, Adm. John Eisold, said. "It is premature to determine whether further surgery will be required or to assess any long-term prognosis."

Eisold said doctors had to drain the blood that had accumulated in Johnson's brain and stop continued bleeding.
Preliminary reports that the Senator had a stroke seem to be untrue, though the mistake is understandable. I'm far from a medical expert, but people seem to be cautiously optimistic. Let's hope they're right.

AP Photo/Jenny Michael

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