Hilda Mae Snoops, the state's official hostess and longtime companion of Gov. William Donald Schaefer, was rushed by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore from Annapolis last night for treatment of an unspecified illness.
A source at Mercy said today Snoops was admitted to a "regular floor" and was "stable and resting comfortably." Maura Vonasek, the hospital's public relations manager, said the hospital had "instructions from the governor" not to release any information regarding the condition of Snoops.
Vonasek said she was referring all inquiries about Snoops to Schaefer's press office.
Paul Schurick, a spokesman for Schaefer, declined to elaborate on the medical emergency that caused Snoops' hospitalization.
Snoops apparently became ill shortly before 10 p.m. at the Governor's Mansion on State Circle in Annapolis and was taken by an Annapolis Fire Department ambulance to Mercy in downtown Baltimore.
A source said Snoops was taken to Mercy instead of Anne Arundel General Hospital, which is less than three blocks from the mansion, because Snoops' physician has privileges at Mercy.
It was not immediately known if Snoops' personal physician was summoned to Mercy.
An Anne Arundel County Fire Department dispatcher said an Annapolis Fire Department ambulance left State Circle at 9:48 p.m. bound for Mercy but neither the nature of the call nor the name of the patient was part of the dispatch information.
Schaefer reportedly followed the ambulance in an unmarked black State Police car.
At Mercy's emergency room, the governor, a concerned look on his face, alternately stood in a hallway outside treatment room 14 or paced the hall with his head down while plainclothes state troopers assigned to the executive protection division stood by.
Outside on the ramp leading to the emergency room was the Annapolis Fire Department ambulance. Parked nearby was a large black sedan, believed used by the governor's security detail.
After two hospital security officers declined to discuss whether Snoops was a patient, Nancy Pedrone, a nursing supervisor, came out of the treatment room and confirmed that Snoops was being examined.
"Right now," Pedrone said, "we don't know what the trouble is and we've been told not to give out any information."