The primary care physician for Governor Kay Ivey on Tuesday released a letter confirming the governor is in good health and refuting a report alleging that she had suffered a ministroke in April 2015.
Dr. Brian Elrod of Montgomery, who has been Ivey’s doctor for “many years,” wrote that the governor had indeed been hospitalized at a conference in Colorado that month in 2015, however “extensive” tests conducted at the hospital “were all negative.” Additionally, Elrod himself examined Ivey the day after she was released from the hospital, saying that “I saw no evidence of a transient ischemic attack (ministroke).”
More tests later that year, including an EKG and echocardiogram, were deemed “unremarkable” and “normal.” Then, a cardiologist visit in December 2015 “also showed no new concerns” and “her nuclear imaging study in January of 2016 was likewise unremarkable and suggested ‘a relatively low risk of cardiovascular events.'”
Elrod added that he could not comment “on what condition may have led to her hospitalization in April of 2015,” but that the governor’s health since then “has remained good with no indication of increased cardiovascular risk.”
In vintage fashion Tuesday night, Ivey responded to a question on the allegations about her health with gusto while hitting at her Democratic opponent, Walt Maddox, who is trailing in the polls by 20 – 25 percent.
“The letter I released today from my doctor clearly confirms what I’ve been saying all along: I’m in good health,” Ivey said.
On the timing of the allegations against her, she added, “It makes me have to assume that Mayor Maddox is desperate because his liberal record is not connecting with Alabamians. Besides, y’all covered this issue a year ago.”
The allegation that Ivey had suffered a ministroke in 2015 was first published last year by the Alabama Political Reporter (APR), with it gaining little to no traction. Now, with Tuesday marking exactly 21 days until the November 6 general election, APR republished the same allegations.
When questioned directly whether she had experienced “stroke-like symptoms,” Ivey responded by saying “altitude illness, they called it.”
The reporter then asked Ivey if she is confident that she is in good health.
“You’re right about that, friend,” Ivey quipped. “No step too high for a high-stepper.”
This comes after Elrod in May released a general letter about the governor, writing that “Governor Ivey has had physicals for the past 15 years, and she is in excellent health.”
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn