A question left on a lot of voter’s minds Tuesday night after his U.S. Senate debate with Dr. Mehmet Oz is how Lt. Gov. John Fetterman will recover from the stroke he suffered back in May, as he struggled at times to explain his positions and often spoke haltingly, but insisted he is continuing to get better.
Fetterman’s speech challenges were apparent throughout the night as he says he continues to deal with auditory processing issues. Necessitating the use of a closed captioning device to fully understand what was being said, while often struggling to complete sentences and make his points.
Joe Calvello, Fetterman’s communications director, said after the debate that the captioning system used in the debate was delayed and filled with errors. A spokesperson for Nexstar, which organized the debate, disputed that claim while adding Fetterman only showed up for one of the two rehearsals offered to both candidates.
Fetterman was also asked about releasing his full medical records during the debate. He said he would not do that, and instead said that his public appearances and his letter from his personal physician saying he’s fit for the job are proof that he has sufficiently recovered.
“There is not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to stroke recovery,”
Lanciano said that, generally, recovery depends on the severity of the stroke and the patient’s age.
“The recovery we typically see occurs the fastest in the first three months after the stroke and there is continued slower recovery for the next year then afterward,” he said. “What is back by a year to (15) months is what a person is going to have back after a stroke.”
Lanciano said the better someone’s comprehension and condition are, and the more patients are aware of their deficits, the better.
“Everyone is affected in a different way, not all of them are physical and not all of them are mental either,”
Lingering effects can be hidden, such as bowel or bladder issues or mild language deficits they learn to overcome.
“They can still look like they’re normal and it can be very frustrating for people to criticize the severity of illness because it affects everyone differently, I think it is important when someone is in the spotlight for us to remember that is something that affects Americans.”
Stroke is the 5th leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States, according to federal data.