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Heinz Kerry Condition Upgraded to Fair, Kerry Spokesman Says

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry & Teresa Heinz Kerry
U.S. Senator John Kerry, then nominee for U.S. Secretary of State, left, and his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry, chairman of Heinz Family Philanthropies, listen during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee nomination hearing in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 24, 2013. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Teresa Heinz Kerry’s condition has been upgraded to fair as she remains hospitalized, according to a spokesman for her husband, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

“After conducting tests overnight and this morning, doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital have upgraded Mrs. Teresa Heinz Kerry’s condition from critical to fair,” Glen Johnson, the spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement. “She is undergoing further evaluation, and Secretary of State John Kerry, her son, and other family members remain with Mrs. Heinz Kerry at the hospital in Boston.”

Heinz Kerry, 74, suffered symptoms consistent with a seizure yesterday in Nantucket, Massachusetts, and was taken to a hospital there, according to a person close to the Kerry family who discussed the episode on condition of anonymity. Her condition soon stabilized and she was later taken to Massachusetts General in Boston, the person said.

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, Pennsylvania Republican Senator John Heinz, died in 1991. She married Kerry, then a Democratic senator from Massachusetts, in 1995.

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.”

‘Very Analytical’

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.

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