Skip to Content

Neuroscientist, stroke survivor weighs in on John Fetterman’s debate performance

By Susan Shapiro

Click here for updates on this story

    PENNSYLVANIA (WGAL) — Many of the people who watched Tuesday night’s debate between U.S. Senate candidates Mehmet Oz and John Fetterman weren’t just tuning in for the issues. They also wanted to see how Fetterman is recovering from a stroke.

One of the viewers has an idea about what Fetterman is dealing with.

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, who penned an essay this week in the New York Times about the brain’s ability to heal, suffered a severe stroke 25 years ago at age 37.

“I could not walk, talk, read, write or recall any of my life,” she said.

Bolte Taylor watched the Oz-Fetterman debate through the eyes of a stroke survivor and a Harvard-trained neuroscientist.

“What stood out for me was he remained very patient. He remained very calm,” she said.

She said the debate stage is high-stress for anyone, let alone a stroke survivor.

“I think that the format could have been set up so that we were not as uncomfortable. Nobody’s comfortable in the pregnant pause,” she said.

Fetterman used closed captioning to read the questions to compensate for his auditory processing issues, and there were pauses between the end of the questions and the start of his response.

“What it probably feels like to him is probably close to what it felt like to me which is this strange delay between what I’m hearing and then my ability to comprehend,” Bolte Taylor said.

While Fetterman struggled at times, she said his cognition appears to be fine. She gave him high marks for putting himself on display.

“I think the level of courage that he is displaying in his commitment to his people is remarkable,” she said.

And she said if he goes to Washington, he can slow down the pace so it’s functional.

Bolte Taylor said it took her eight years to fully recover from her stroke, which was a different type than the one Fetterman suffered.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

CNN Newsource


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content