Pennsylvania Democrat suffers ‘minor stroke,’ will be out six weeks

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Pa.) said Thursday he suffered a “minor stroke” and will be out of the Capitol for six weeks as he recovers.

Evans, who represents Philadelphia, said in a statement he received the diagnosis this week and did not realize at the time of the incident that he was having a stroke. He said the stroke should have no bearing on his ability to continue serving his constituents in the long term.

“I wanted to let my constituents know that I am recovering from a minor stroke, and I want to emphasize the word minor,” Evans wrote in the statement.

“It was minor enough that I didn’t even realize what had happened for a few days. The main impact seems to be some difficulty with one leg, which will probably impact my walking for some time, but not my long-term ability to serve the people of Philadelphia,” he said.

Evans said he is currently recovering at an inpatient rehabilitation facility and plans to stay there for another week before transitioning to outpatient therapy. He expects to be voting in Washington in six weeks, he said.

“I’m focusing on my healing and would ask for privacy during these six weeks,” he said.

Since receiving his diagnosis this week, Evans said he has “been taking time to rest and recover and to decide how to go public in a way that would help to educate people.”

In the coming months, Evans said, he hopes to work to “remove the stigma that sometimes accompanies strokes,” adding, “Many people can recover and continue on with their life and their work.”

Another high-profile Pennsylvania Democrat — Sen. John Fetterman — suffered a stroke while campaigning for his current seat in the upper chamber. He has been open about his recovery process and about his mental health struggles, which culminated with his decision to seek treatment at the start of his term.

In a House with historically close margins, every vote can be consequential. Republicans currently have 217 seats while Democrats have 213 seats, and there are five vacant seats. Evans’s absence in the next six weeks would grow the majority from four to five votes, barring other absences.

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