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Originally published Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 12:30 PM

Live inauguration coverage: AP | Washington Post | KUOW

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Sen. Kennedy released from hospital after seizure

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was released from the hospital and doing well Wednesday after suffering a seizure during an inaugural luncheon.

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON —

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was released from the hospital and doing well Wednesday after suffering a seizure during an inaugural luncheon.

Kennedy's office confirmed that the senator left Washington Hospital Center, where he stayed overnight for observation, and was resting at home. Kennedy has been under treatment for a brain tumor since last spring.

A Kennedy representative, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement was not official, said the senator was in good spirits and that doctors wanted him to get some rest.

Doctors blamed fatigue for the seizure Kennedy suffered during the Capitol Hill luncheon Tuesday after attending the swearing-in of President Barack Obama.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said Kennedy sounded good when he spoke with him both Tuesday and Wednesday.

"He's in good shape. ... He was talking last night and he was talking a lot this morning," Reid said.

The 76-year-old Massachusetts Democrat was diagnosed last May with a particularly aggressive type of brain tumor and has been treated with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

Kennedy's seizure at the inaugural lunch was witnessed by fellow senators. Longtime friend Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., quoted Kennedy as saying, "I'll be OK, I'll see you later" as he was put into an ambulance on Tuesday.

Kennedy had appeared in good health and spirits a few hours earlier when he stepped out of the Capitol and onto the inauguration platform where Obama took the oath of office.

At the luncheon, Obama told lawmakers his prayers were with the senator and his family.

Kennedy has pledged to forge a breakthrough on health care reform working with Obama and Democrats who control Congress. Kennedy has been a leading champion of health care reform for decades.

A doctor not connected with the senator's care, Dr. Matthew Ewend, neurosurgery chief at the University of North Carolina, said it's not unusual for patients recovering from brain tumors to suffer seizures.

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Associated Press writer Ken Thomas contributed to this story.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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