On Monday, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe was admitted to the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond for an emergency procedure to drain fluids from his chest. According to a statement from his office, the treatment was due to complications from a traumatic injury the governor suffered over Christmas in Africa.
“While on vacation with his family in Africa, Governor McAuliffe was thrown from a horse, which resulted in seven broken ribs,” the statement read. “While the injury did not impair his ability to do his job and his doctors expected the injury to heal on its own, today they identified increased fluid around his lungs that will require a procedure to remove. He is being admitted today and is expected to be back in action after 2-3 days of recovery.”
McAuliffe spent Christmas week in Africa with his family. The trip wasn’t publicly announced but was mentioned in passing in a Richmond Times article on Christmas Eve. According to his office, McAuliffe received medical treatment in Tanzania but wasn’t hospitalized.
Fracturing seven ribs is a very serious injury. Fracturing more than 3 ribs can be life-threatening for many patients, due to complications to the lungs and chest cavity. Most fractures, however, will heal themselves after a few weeks, making pain mitigation they main focus of recovery. Patients are ordinarily given a regime of prescription-strength pain medication.
Political sources in Richmond told Breitbart News that governors in Virginia regularly travel overseas without public notification. The legislature meets just 60 days a year, so its leaders aren’t notified when the governor leaves the Commonwealth. It is at the Governor’s office discretion to disclose injuries or medical treatments received by the chief executive.
McAuliffe has crafted a public image as a tireless elected official. The Richmond Times noted that “the 57-year-old newcomer to elective office is embracing it with a degree of energy and competitive urgency that seems perfectly suited to his up-before-dawn, uber-caffeinated, 16-marathon, exclamation-point way of life.”
“I hate to go to sleep — I really do,” McAuliffe said during the interview.
The appearance of fluid in his chest cavity weeks after sustaining the traumatic injury, though, is a very serious complication. It could require the insertion of a tube to continually drain fluid as McAuliffe’s injury heals.
The governor may hate sleep, but he’s going to need a lot more of it to ensure a full recovery from his injury.