Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, was hospitalized yesterday in Nantucket, Massachusetts and transferred to a facility in Boston, a spokesman for the nation’s top diplomat said.
Heinz Kerry was accompanied by her husband when she was taken to Nantucket Cottage Hospital from their home on the island and then brought to Massachusetts General Hospital once doctors stabilized her condition, Glen Johnson said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Johnson didn’t provide any information on her ailment.
Sue McGreevey, a spokeswoman at Massachusetts General, referred questions about Heinz Kerry’s condition to the State Department. The Associated Press reported yesterday that Heinz Kerry, 74, was in critical but stable condition.
“The family is grateful for the outpouring of support it has received and aware of the interest in her condition, but they ask for privacy at this time,” Johnson said in the statement.
A philanthropist who has focused on issues ranging from childhood lead poisoning to women’s education, Heinz Kerry is chairman of the Heinz Family Foundation and the Heinz Endowments in Pittsburgh, according to her biography on the website of an award that bears the Heinz name.
Born in Mozambique and fluent in five languages, she is heiress to the H.J. Heinz ketchup fortune, estimated in 2004 at $500 million. Her former husband, U.S. Senator John Heinz, died in 1991.
In an interview that aired in February 2010 on CNN’s “Larry King Live” program, she and Kerry talked about her 2009 diagnosis with breast cancer, and Kerry said “she knows more about medicine than a lot of doctors.”
Asked about the prospect of facing radiation treatment, she said, “I wasn’t scared because I’m very analytical about things like this, and I guess a little fatalistic.”
Kerry and Heinz Kerry have a home on Nantucket, an island south of Cape Cod. The secretary of State traveled there July 3 for a Fourth of July holiday with his family after returning from a trip to the Middle East and Asia.
Heinz Kerry didn’t accompany the top U.S. diplomat on the tour, his fifth trip in an attempt to revive long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Kerry’s respite on Nantucket created a stir when a CBS News producer reported he was spotted on board a yacht on July 3, amid a crisis that day as Egypt’s military ousted President Mohamed Mursi. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki initially said that “any report or tweet that he was on a boat is completely inaccurate.”
Psaki later said in a statement that “while he was briefly on his boat on Wednesday, Secretary Kerry worked around the clock all day including participating in the president’s meeting with his National Security Council” and making calls to numerous leaders in the Middle East.