Heinz Kerry’s Doctors Haven’t Diagnosed Illness, Person Says

Teresa Heinz Kerry’s doctors haven’t yet made a diagnosis of what caused her to suffer symptoms consistent with a seizure, according to a person close to the Kerry family.

The wife of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was hospitalized yesterday in Nantucket, Massachusetts, in critical condition and soon stabilized, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing her status.

She was later taken to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where she remains under treatment. The family friend wouldn’t say whether Heinz Kerry was conscious or provide additional details, saying her children didn't want to describe every change in her condition.

Sue McGreevey, a spokeswoman at Massachusetts General, referred questions to the State Department, which declined to provide information about her ailment. The Associated Press reported yesterday that Heinz Kerry, 74, was in critical but stable condition.

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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