Teresa Heinz Kerry says she's made a “miraculous” recovery from seizures in July that her doctors believe are the residual effects of a concussion she suffered in 2009.
Kerry, who is married to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, spoke to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette when she returned to Pittsburgh on Friday for board meetings at the Heinz Endowments, her family's $1.4 billion charitable foundation. The newspaper reported her remarks in Monday's editions.
Kerry, 75, says the July 7 seizure at her family home on Nantucket wasn't related to her past treatments for breast cancer, but is the result of her brain continuing to repair itself after the concussion. She says doctors told her that new circuits formed by the brain during such healing can become overloaded and cause seizures.
"I guess the way these things get resolved is that (the concussion's injuries) probably get absorbed by the brain, scar tissue, too, and in my case I don't know how long it took to be absorbed," she told the paper. "But there were a lot of signs of impacts over the four years, and probably the last absorption, I think, was about the time I had my seizure. I don't know if I lost all of it in six months, in two years, or all in one week. We don't know."
Kerry says she's having physical therapy three times a week and doing brain “exercises.”
Heinz Kerry is the widow of former U.S. Sen. John Heinz and heir to the Heinz ketchup fortune. Heinz died in 1991 when a helicopter collided with a plane over a schoolyard in Merion, Pa. The senator was among the seven people, including two children, who died in the crash.
Heinz Kerry and John Kerry married in 1995.
She enthusiastically participated in her husband's campaign for president in 2004 and became known for her strong opinions, sometimes attracting as much attention as the candidate.