Pennsylvania Democrat suffers a 'minor stroke' and will be out for six weeks

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Penn.) said Thursday that he suffered a “minor stroke” and will be out for six weeks while he recovers.

Evans, who represents Philadelphia, said in a statement he was diagnosed this week and did not realize he was having a stroke at the time of the incident. He said the stroke should not affect 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 a statement.

“It was so small that I didn't even realize what had happened for a few days. The main impact appears to be some difficulty with one leg, which will likely impact my walking for some time, but not my ability to serve the people of Philadelphia in the long term,” 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 vote in Washington in six weeks, he said.

“I am focusing on my healing and would request privacy during these six weeks,” he said.

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

Evans said he hopes to work in the coming months to “eliminate the stigma that sometimes accompanies stroke,” adding, “many people are able to recover and get on with their lives and work.”

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

In a House with historically close margins, every vote can have consequences. The Republicans currently have 217 seats, the Democrats 213 seats and there are five vacant seats. Evans' absence over the next six weeks would increase the majority from four to five votes, barring other absences.

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