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Senator Ted Kennedy Hospitalized After Suffering Seizure


U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, the veteran Massachusetts lawmaker, was admitted to a Boston hospital Saturday after suffering a seizure. VOA's Deborah Tate has more from Washington.

The 76-year-old senator was taken by helicopter from the Kennedy family's estate on Cape Cod to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Just seven months ago, he underwent surgery to relieve a blocked artery in his neck, which could have put him a risk for a stroke.

Kennedy is the youngest and only surviving brother of former President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated nearly 45 years ago.

Senator Kennedy has served in the Senate since 1962, making him the second-longest serving current senator after Robert Byrd of West Virginia.

A liberal Democrat, Kennedy is one of the most outspoken critics of President Bush and the war in Iraq.

He is also a prominent supporter of Senator Barack Obama's campaign for the Democratic Party's nomination for president.

At a rally earlier Saturday, Obama said his thoughts and prayers were with the Kennedy family, and called the senator "a giant in American politics".

"One of my dearest friends in the Senate, Ted Kennedy, had a little emergency this morning, and we are all worried about him. I have spoken to the family, and there have been reports that it was a seizure, rather than a stroke. We hope that he's going to be okay," he said.

Obama's rival for the party's presidential nomination, Senator Hillary Clinton, also wished Kennedy a quick recovery.

The Republican Party's likely presidential nominee, Senator John McCain, praised Kennedy as a "legendary lawmaker".

Massachusetts's other Democratic U.S. Senator, John Kerry, visited Kennedy at the hospital, and later issued a statement praising his colleague as a fighter who has overcome adversity again and again.

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