McCain in 'Stable Condition' After Surgery Treating Intestinal Infection

John McCain / Getty
April 16, 2018

Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) underwent surgery at Phoenix’s Mayo Clinic over the weekend due to an intestinal infection and is in "stable condition," according to an announcement from his office Monday evening.

McCain, 81, who has been home in Arizona battling brain cancer for the last few months, recently got an infection connected to diverticulitis, which is a condition caused by pouches forming in the wall of the colon. He has had physical therapy at home in Cornville, Ariz., while he has worked to maintain his duties as the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"Over the last few months, Senator McCain has been participating in physical therapy at his home in Cornville, Arizona, as he recovers from the side effects of cancer treatment. He has remained engaged on his work as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and has enjoyed frequent visits from his family, friends, staff and Senate colleagues," the statement said. "Senator McCain and his family are grateful to the senator’s excellent care team, and appreciate the support and prayers they continue to receive from people all over the country."

Glioblastoma, the form of cancer with which McCain was diagnosed, has required him to undergo radiation treatment, according to the Washington Post.

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic diagnosed McCain in July with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer that took the lives of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Beau Biden, son of former vice president Joe Biden.

McCain returned to Congress and maintained a relatively regular congressional schedule through the fall, as he was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments. By December, however, his body had become too weak and he returned to Arizona to continue his treatments and go into physical rehabilitation to try to get his strength.

While in Arizona, McCain’s office has issued regular statements about his positions on all manner of policy. Senate colleagues that have spoken to him report that his mind is still sharp, but his office has given no indication on when he will be able to return to the Senate.

McCain has until the end of May to make a decision about whether he will resign from office in order to determine whether there will be a special election this upcoming November. If McCain resigns before the end of May, Gov. Doug Ducey (R., Ariz.) will appoint an interim senator until the special election in November. However, if McCain resigns after May, then the appointed senator would serve through the 2020 elections.

Meghan McCain, the senator's daughter and a co-host of ABC's "The View," tweeted that her father continues to "inspire" her "with his intense grit and determination."

"My father @SenJohnMcCain is in stable condition - he continues to inspire me everyday with his intense grit and determination. Thank you to the doctors at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix and to everyone who is praying for him," McCain tweeted.