John Dingell hospitalized after heart attack

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News
John Dingell

Former U.S. Rep. John Dingell appears to have had a heart attack and was admitted to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit on Monday, his wife said. 

"John was feeling off this morning and it appears he may have had a small heart attack," Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, posted on Facebook. 

"He is going to be admitted to Henry Ford hospital and we will figure out what next....but for those that worry about him all he wants is phone to twitter. So I keep telling myself it will be ok. All prayers loved."

She added on Twitter that her 92-year-old husband was "alert and in good spirits, cracking jokes like always."

In an early evening update, she said the medical staff is still in "fact-gathering mode."

"They are continuing to monitor his enzymes, so drawing blood every few hours. They are doing other tests and may do a heart catherization tomorrow," Dingell wrote on Facebook.

"He is feisty and he is very clear he is in charge ... which the doctors and nurses are humoring him on and may lead to fireworks between us (so I guess life normal). ... (W)e will make decisions tomorrow when we have data and options. All of your prayers and love very much appreciated and are keeping me calm."

John Dingell was the longest-serving member of Congress when he retired in early 2015 after 59 years. Debbie Dingell won election in November 2014 to replace him.

He was the chairman or ranking Democrat on House Energy and Commerce Committee from 1981-2008 and helped shape landmark laws affecting the environment, telecommunications and the auto industry.

"Paul & I are praying for a speedy recovery, @JohnDingell. Few people on this Earth have your spirit & determination. Wishing you & @RepDebDingell all the best!" tweeted House Minority Leader Nancy Peolsi, D-California.

Since leaving Congress, Dingell has built up a reputation as a witty Twitter personality, with over 248,000 followers, mostly commentating on President Donald Trump and University of Michigan football. 

Supporters tweeted well wishes on Monday after the announcement, including U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph. 

"You can't keep a good man down. Great to hear he's in good spirits. John will be back to tweeting & watching UofM football in no time!" Upton tweeted. 

"Wishing John a speedy recovery!" tweeted U.S. Rep. Dave Trott, R-Birmingham. 

The state Democratic Party said: "All of us at the Michigan Democratic Party wish Congressman @JohnDingell a speedy recovery! We hope to see you back on Twitter ASAP."

Dingell was last hospitalized in December after a fall. In December 2014, he broke his hip and entered the same hospital for an 18-day stay.

That same year, he had surgery in Detroit for an abnormal heart rhythm, and in September, he was in the same hospital in Detroit for an infection.