Rawlings-Blake discharged from hospital

Mayor attends Orioles game; cancels Monday appearances

September 15, 2014|By Matthew Hay Brown | The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was discharged from the University of Maryland Medical Center Sunday, where she had been since experiencing chest pains and shortness of breath Saturday night at the Star-Spangled Spectacular concert at Fort McHenry.

Doctors performed what the mayor's aides described as "a series of tests to assess her medical condition" before releasing her. She spent less than 24 hours at the hospital and has cancelled her public appearances for Monday.

After her release, Rawlings-Blake said she had pushed herself "a bit too hard" amid the celebrations to mark the bicentennial of the Battle of Baltimore and the creation of the Star-Spangled Banner.

"For the past several days, I had been struggling with a case of bronchitis and an upper respiratory infection," Rawlings-Blake, 44, said in a statement released by her office. "I pushed myself a bit too hard, given all the excitement around Star-Spangled Spectacular and the tremendous opportunity the festivities presented to showcase the very best of Baltimore.

"After it became more difficult to catch my breath, I requested to go to the hospital for medical care. I am now home and resting comfortably."

Earlier Sunday, a tweet that appeared on the mayor's official account expressed gratitude for her followers' "thoughts & prayers."

"I'm resting comfortably & looking forward to a speedy recovery," the tweet read. "Thanks, Baltimore!"

Later, the mayor's office sent out its weekly email detailing her public schedule for the week, beginning with three appearances today and at least one event each on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Spokesman Kevin Harris said the mayor will work from home Monday.

A spokeswoman said the email had been programmed to go out before she took ill. In her statement, she said she looked forward to resuming her schedule "as soon as possible."

The mayor attended Sunday night's Orioles game against the Yankees, Harris said.

"This weekend, I learned that if I do not slow down and allow time to heal from my recent illness, my body will slow me down, and I do not want to find myself here ever again," Rawlings-Blake said in a statement Monday morning. 

It was at least the second health scare for Rawlings-Blake during her tenure as mayor. She was hospitalized in March 2010, a month after she took office, after she woke up before dawn one day with chest pains, numbness and dizziness.

Doctors at the time concluded she had suffered gastrointestinal difficulties. They performed tests including an electrocardiogram and a stress test, ruled out serious medical concerns such as a heart attack or a stroke, and declared her to be in "excellent health." She was discharged after 11 hours.

The same tests, performed at the hospital this weekend, determined that Rawlings-Blake's symptoms were not a result of any recurring issues from the previous incident, Harris said.

Rawlings-Blake was scheduled to appear Monday at the opening of a new athletic complex at City Springs Elementary Middle School in Washington Hill, a meeting of the Baltimore Baptist Ministers' Conference at New Shiloh Baptist Church in Mondawmin and the unveiling of a portrait of Frederick Douglass at the State House in Annapolis.

She was one of several speakers Saturday night at the Star-Spangled Spectacular, a concert broadcast live on national television. Harris said she shortened her remarks before leaving the stage at about 8 p.m. Her early departure went unnoticed by most at the event.

The concert, split between Fort McHenry and Pier Six Pavilion, also featured remarks by Vice President Joe Biden and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, performances by the United States Marine Band and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the largest fireworks display in city history.

Staff writers Luke Broadwater and Colin Campbell contributed to this article.

matthew.brown@baltsun.com

twitter.com/matthewhaybrown

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