March 13th, 2009
04:58 PM ET
5 years ago

Congressman recovering from heart scare

Rep. Pete Olson was outfitted with a pacemaker at a Washington hospital after fainting while working out at the House gym.
Rep. Pete Olson was outfitted with a pacemaker at a Washington hospital after fainting while working out at the House gym.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Rep. Pete Olson was “rushed” from Capitol Hill to the hospital Thursday, and doctors “equipped” him with a “dual chamber pacemaker,” the Texas Republican wrote in an e-mail to political supporters.

“While working out in the House gym, I got quite dizzy and fainted,” Olson said in the note sent Friday by his campaign committee. “After being rushed to George Washington University Hospital, it was determined that I had a condition called bradycardia, which is medical talk for a slow heart beat. Whatever they call it, it wasn't good and I don't recommend it.”

Olson added, “The docs have now equipped me with a dual chamber pacemaker to ensure my ticker doesn't pull such a stunt again. I feel fine and was ready to get back to work yesterday afternoon, but cooler heads have instructed I rest a little more.”

A cardiologist at George Washington University Hospital said that the “procedure went smoothly with no complications.”

“This is a common, often asymptomatic, condition and we expect the Congressman to resume his active lifestyle,” said Allen Solomon, cardiologist at the George Washington University Hospital and professor of Medicine.

The congressman is expected to return to work next week, the hospital said in the statement.


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soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Polar Bears Against Palen

    Who cares?

    March 13, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. Janet

    We'll pray for Pete Olson's recovery and his family.

    March 13, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. MaryanneAZ

    Newsflash: There is no way to know if someone spewing hate or divisiveness is either right or left wing or even an adult for that matter. Many people use blogs as anonymous playrooms where they try and come up with the best zingers and controversial statements to get attention from fellow bloggers. What sport. It would be nice to have a real blog where one could engage in meaningful discourse and express opposing views without name calling. Okay, I confess, I am an optimist! Meanwhile, God's speed and well wish to the Rep. Life is too short to be snarky about another person's health for pity's sake.

    March 13, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    I see Congress has no problem getting health care. "Working out" on the taxpayers dime, no less.

    Gotta love our elected officials. They are just like us (smirk).

    March 13, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. Dan

    Do you know how many people are having heart problems or heart attacks this moment? Lots. do they make the news CNN? No.
    Stop placing these Congressman on a pedestal and get down to some serious reporting. Sounds like you have a lot of people on staff with too much time on their hands.
    Whats next? Report another headache that Kennedy's having?

    March 13, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. OMG!

    I wish I had his healthcare. I am diabetic and I have none. If I would have to go to the hospital, I will lose my home, most likely. I have no job.

    Stay well!

    March 13, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. Eloise

    We wish the congressman a quick recovery and the best to him!

    March 13, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. Pluto

    'snark' at AndyL – dude, you shouldn't accept other people's descriptions so naively. What you call 'liberals' are just people who aren't Republicans. The Democratic Party is a big umbrella for people who don't all think alike. You, of course, agree with everything Rush says, right? COURSE you do, you are a Republican!
    Most of the Democrats I know drive pickup trucks and own a rifle, a shotgun, and a snake pistol, and although they attend church, they'd bite your ear off if you said that crap to their faces. You GOP guys are too easily fooled. What do you think about UFOs and Elvis being alive?

    March 13, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. John

    "GoOBAMA! March 13th, 2009 3:34 pm ET

    Boy, it sounds like he got "fixed up" right quick! He must have great Healthcare Ins…. that SO many American families could only dream & wish we had right now!"
    ********************************************************************
    I work in sales and I am currently getting my second degree in accounting right now, and I no where near rich especially paying for school as we speak, and since I work for a corporation I get AWESOME coverage, I mean awesome.

    I had dental work done last year that cost over 500 to 600 dollars, I paid 80 bucks with my co pay, and all my cleanings do not require a co pay.

    And everyone has the same insurance here. But then again I work for corporation in a right to work state, the same state this congressman in question is from.

    Texas, I am glad to say is a right to work state.

    March 13, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Reality Check

    Yes, by all means let's have the great govt-sponsored health care like Great Britain, Canada, and Cuba where all are covered and all receive equally poor service, except of course the elites and govt leaders! Some of you are so naive with your big govt solutions.

    March 13, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. John

    "Mark, I oppose universal health care, IF by that you mean that "government" (i.e., the rest of us) has to pay for those who "can't" afford it. If we give people everything that they say they need but cannot afford, what is the incentive to work? And if there is no incentive to work, why should anyone bother to work– just let "government" pay for it.

    One cannot have a "right" to another person's labor."

    You are ignorant of how health care in the US works.

    The rest of us already pay for those who can't afford it. By law, hospitals have to provide essential medical care to everybody. If they can't afford it, the hospital eats the cost. If the hospital eats the cost, they have to raise rates across the board to keep their heads above water. If the rates are raised, you're paying more. You already pay for the people who can't afford health care.

    Additionally, the Constitution protects our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We have a right to life in this country, something you'd think conservatives would readily agree with. The health of everyone in the US, whether they can afford it or not, is as much a public safety issue as a fire or a crime spree. You don't think anything odd about paying taxes for police, a fire department, or a military. Nationalized health care isn't like giving away cars and televisions and lodging and such, it is the providing of a basic human need. And if you don't think people need health care, you're just plain ignorant.

    March 13, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. A CANUCK

    If he was a Canadian this procedure would have been absolutely free.
    What are you afraid of Americans ???

    March 13, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. John

    He's lucky he's got a Congressional health care plan. Lot of people in this country would have died, or gone bankrupt when the insurance company found a way to not pay for the surgery.

    USA, #1 worldwide in per-capita health care spanding, #36 worldwide in health care quality. But at least we don't have nationalized health care...

    March 13, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  14. Carl

    Some of the bloggers make me laugh. They are mocking and throwing insults about health care because this was a Republican. The person that wants him to die because he has an R by his name, i hope the government finds you and presses charges.

    This also is a huge slam against CNN comments. I have written on several occasions using facts and giving information to add to the covnersation, but you let people post this drivel while the comments of myself and others are censored.

    I am not a democrat, and I have different views, but the comments on here today for this man and for Barbara Bush is not a clear representation of democrats. This represents the 1% of the internet nation that will say the most hateful things imaginable, but then stand and refuse your opinion. Both sides of the aisle have strong leaders and great morals and values. All we do is focus on the negative and it drives us apart for no reason.

    The whole point is to get along and work together to make this world a better place than when we found it.

    I'm not ever reading CNN again if this comment is refused, and I will make sure people know that CNN allows this to happen.

    March 13, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  15. Perusing-through

    Congressman Pete Olson – - Dizzy spells during or after a workout is NOT good. But proper exercise IS GOOD at an appropriate pace. Please ensure your constituents don't hear stories like this again.
    Now get back out there – - – but proceed at a healthier pace.

    March 13, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. NClaw441

    TA–

    I want everyone to have healthcare. I also want them to have steak for dinner, a nice home and car, and lots of friends. The problem is, government cannot afford to pay for everything. Government is notoriously inefficient, wasteful and of low quality. Name one thing government does well, other than perhaps collecting taxes. Even those programs government has to do, it does either poorly, at too high a cost, or both. Take a look at our VA hospitals, which should be the best in the country to care for those who sacrificed for our freedom– these hospitals stink. Why do you think universal health care would be any better?

    Health USED to be reasonable in cost, until government put its hands in it. Medicaid, medicare, etc. drove prices up. You can call it heartless, but just like the "war on poverty" government health care will enslave citizens and ruin the health care system we now have.

    March 13, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. Vicki

    In a debate, Mr. Olson, is NOT, I repeat not in favor of universal health and his comment was (direct quote) presented in the Olson/Lampson debate. It reads as follows:

    Olson: it's good to be up here with such an experienced Congressman, and he artfully dodged the question. I am opposed to universal health care. It doesn't work.

    (Sarcasm?)

    He says he wants to allow self-employed people to deduct their health care costs, just like corporations can. He says small business is the biggest part of the economy and we need to support it.

    (That's a good point, but then he went on to mischaracterized Obama's plan as universal health care, and said Lampson supports it.)

    Hypocrit: you betcha!!!

    March 13, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  18. AndyL

    @ TA

    You want to talk hypocrite. Why are people like you and David S. Robbins are against keeping our enemies locked up, your against capital punishement of convicted criminals, but you are all for killing unborn babies and republicans. You sir are the hypocrite.

    March 13, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  19. 4real

    Unbelievable how mean-spirited some of us can be. It does not matter Republican, Democrat, Independent, etc., he is a HUMAN BEING! How can we be such a cold-hearted nation? No wonder other countries despise us. We STILL have so much, but appreciate so little. Can't we be more loving toward each other regardless of our political stance? Please.

    March 13, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. AndyL

    @ A CANUCK

    If he was in Canada (where I have lived before) he would have had to wait 2 years for the procedure and it would have been performed by a doctor who last operation was on a goat in Bangladesh, Thanks but no thanks

    March 13, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. Jason

    No politics here folks. I don't care what he is. Good Luck and Better health in the future.

    March 13, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  22. Bill

    Why, I bet this Republican used government sponsored healthcare for his surgery. Socialist!!!

    March 13, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. Retired Army in San Antonio

    While I'm glad he's gonna be OK, I still wonder if he'll support a Bill where every has the type of health insurance that he enjoys.....

    March 13, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. Retired Army in San Antonio

    AndyL -– March 13th, 2009 4:38 pm ET

    If he was in Canada (where I have lived before) he would have had to wait 2 years for the procedure and it would have been performed by a doctor who last operation was on a goat in Bangladesh, Thanks but no thanks

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    What a stupid statement.

    March 13, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  25. Mel of Alexandria, Virginia

    When it comes to being mean-spirited the Republicans take the gold and the silver, but there are times when we must pretend that we do not notice.

    Get well, Congressman. All of us need you to do your best to help us out of the present crisis. Keep well and be strong.

    March 13, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
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