Kerry heads back to U.S. with surgeon for broken leg
Washington — Secretary of State John Kerry was headed home to Boston from Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday for medical treatment on his broken leg.
Accompanied by orthopedic surgeon Dennis Burke and additional medical personnel, the 71-year-old Kerry departed Geneva aboard a U.S. military plane after fracturing his right femur on Sunday when he struck a curb with his bicycle and fell on a regular Tour de France route in France located southeast of the Swiss city. He had been receiving treatment at Geneva’s main medical center, HUG.
“Headed back to Boston,” Kerry said in a tweet. “Look fwd to getting leg set & getting back to @StateDept! Meantime, work goes on. Big thanks for well-wishes. #Onward.”
In a French-language tweet, Kerry thanked the local Swiss and French police and emergency workers, calling them “real professionals.”
State Department spokesman John Kirby said earlier that Burke would monitor the secretary’s condition en route and “ensure he remains comfortable.”
Kirby described Kerry as “in great spirits and active,” making “a range of phone calls including with the president.” He “never lost consciousness, his injury is not life-threatening and he is expected to make a full recovery,” Kirby said.
Kerry’s precise travel plans were not announced, but he will receive further care at Massachusetts General Hospital once he returns home. Kerry had hip replacement surgery several years ago. The fracture was near the hip.
Kerry was taken by helicopter to the Geneva hospital following the accident on Sunday after a paramedic and a physician who were traveling in his motorcade at the time of crash provided him with immediate attention. X-rays confirmed the extent of his injury.
Kerry’s regular government plane returned Sunday night to the United States carrying much of his staff and reporters who had accompanied him on the trip. He had hoped to leave later in the day on a plane fitted with special medical equipment.
Kerry’s cycling rides have become a regular occurrence on his trips. He often takes his bike with him on the plane and was riding that bicycle Sunday.
He was in Geneva for six hours of nuclear negotiations with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday. World powers and Iran are trying to seal a comprehensive accord by June 30.
The prospect of a lengthy rehabilitation for Kerry could hamper the nuclear talks and other diplomatic endeavors. Even if he does not need surgery, it was not immediately known when he could fly again after returning to the United States.
There was no word on whether he would need an operation.
Kerry had planned to travel to Madrid on Sunday for meetings with Spain’s king and prime minister, before spending two days in Paris for an international gathering to combat the Islamic State. He will participate in the Paris conference remotely, Kirby said.