Thursday 20 September 2018

Melania Trump released from hospital after kidney procedure stay

The US First Lady has returned to the White House following treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre near Washington.

Donald Trump visited his wife Melania in hospital several times (Niall Carson/PA)
Donald Trump visited his wife Melania in hospital several times (Niall Carson/PA)

By Darlene Superville, Associated Press

Melania Trump returned to the White House on Saturday after a near week-long hospital stay following kidney treatment, a duration which raised questions about whether the First Lady’s condition may have been more complicated than initially revealed.

Her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham has declined to release additional details, citing Mrs Trump’s right to privacy.

“The First Lady returned home to the White House this morning,” Grisham said in a statement emailed on Saturday.

“She is resting comfortably and remains in high spirits. Our office has received thousands of calls and emails wishing Mrs Trump well and we thank everyone who has taken the time to reach out.”

Mrs Trump had been at Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre near Washington since Monday when she underwent an embolisation procedure to treat an unspecified kidney condition which the White House described as benign.

Word of the hospitalisation came as a surprise because there was no indication in numerous public appearances in recent weeks that Mrs Trump had been ailing.

First ladies are under no obligation to make their medical histories public. A week before undergoing the procedure, a beaming Mrs Trump presided over an announcement ceremony in the White House Rose Garden to introduce her Be Best public awareness campaign to help teach kindness to children.

Ms Grisham said on Monday that the procedure was “successful”, there were no complications and that Mrs Trump would probably remain hospitalised for “the duration of the week”.

The president then tweeted on Tuesday that his wife would be released in “two or three” days, but Thursday and Friday passed without word from the White House on her whereabouts.

He had visited her during the first three days of her hospitalisation. He did not make the trip on Thursday or Friday, leading some to wonder whether the First Lady had been released.

The First Lady, 48, tweeted on Wednesday that she was “feeling great” and looking forward to going home, but gave no indication of when that might happen.

On Friday, she tweeted about the deadly school shooting at a Houston-area high school but did not update her followers on her medical situation.

Ms Grisham on Saturday characterised speculation about the first lady as “uninformed”.

“Mrs Trump has a medical team that is comfortable with her care, which is all that matters,” she said. “Her recovery and privacy are paramount and I will have no further comment beyond this.”

Press Association

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