Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
Chip Somodevilla  /  Getty Images file
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in late July.
updated 8/20/2005 5:44:53 PM ET 2005-08-20T21:44:53

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada spent Saturday with family and friends, his public appearances canceled after he experienced a brief “mini-stroke” that aides said caused no complications.

“He’s resting for the weekend like most people do,” said press secretary Tessa Hafen. “He did reiterate he’s fine and OK.”

Reid, 65, revealed Friday that he had seen a doctor after feeling lightheaded Tuesday evening at his home in Searchlight, about an hour south of Las Vegas. He was told he had experienced a mini-stroke called a transient ischemic attack.

Hafen said Reid experienced no speech difficulties or physical symptoms associated with strokes, and after medical evaluations, he was told there were no complications and that he didn’t need to restrict his activities.

How strokes happenHe was not hospitalized. However, Reid canceled several public appearances Friday and Saturday in Nevada after doctors advised him to take advantage of the congressional recess to rest. Other public appearances were on hold.

The senator expects to resume his normal schedule by the time Congress returns from its summer recess on Sept. 6, Hafen said.

Reid was chosen to lead Senate Democrats at the beginning of the current congressional session after the previous minority leader, Tom Daschle of South Dakota, lost his 2004 re-election bid. Reid had been the Democratic whip — the No. 2 position — for six years before moving into the leadership role. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois succeeded him as whip.

After the announcement, Reid received expressions of concern from friends and colleagues.

“The president is glad to hear that Sen. Reid is feeling fine and looks forward to working with him this fall,” White House spokesman Trent Duffy said.

Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., issued a statement saying he and his family were praying for Reid. “My hope and prayers are for a full and fast recovery for Harry, and my thoughts are with his family,” Ensign said.

Reid has represented Nevada in the Senate since 1987 and was re-elected last year with 61 percent of the vote. He served in the House from 1983 to 1987.

A transient ischemic attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is briefly interrupted, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Symptoms including weakness and dizziness usually occur suddenly and are similar to those of stroke, but usually disappear within an hour, though they may persist for up to 24 hours.

The National Stroke Association says one in three people who experience such an episode will go on to have an actual stroke. Reid had never had a previous episode of this kind, Hafen said.

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