North Carolina’s U.S. Senator Tillis ‘fine’ after collapse at race

North Carolina’s U.S. Senator Tillis ‘fine’ after collapse at race

May 17, 2017

(Reuters) – U.S. Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina said in a video message from his hospital bed that he was doing well after getting overheated and collapsing during a charitable road race in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday morning.

Tillis, a Republican, was participating in the ACLI Capital Challenge, a three-mile team race. He said he overheated after running about 2 1/2 miles in the annual event at Anacostia Park.

“I’m fine,” he said in the video message posted on Twitter about an hour after his reported collapse.

Some media outlets reported that the 56-year-old had fallen unconscious and that bystanders performed CPR before he was taken away in an ambulance.

Tillis said that was not the case.

“No CPR, no special measures, just checking me out,” he said, still wearing his running clothes. “See you back on the Hill.”

Doug Buchanan, a spokesman for the city’s fire department, said bystanders may have performed CPR thinking the senator’s condition was more serious.

“The patient was not in cardiac arrest at any point this morning,” Buchanan said in a phone interview.

The weather in Washington around the reported time of Tillis’ collapse was 70 degrees, National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Hofmann said.

Fellow politicians, including Republican senators Marco Rubio of Florida and James Lankford of Oklahoma, sent get well wishes to Tillis and his family on social media.

“Please pray for my Senate colleague,” Rubio wrote on Twitter.

Tillis, who previously was speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, unseated Democrat Kay Hagan in the 2014 U.S. Senate elections.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney, Barbara Goldberg and Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Bernard Orr and Lisa Von Ahn)

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