Former Mayor Daley leaves Northwestern Memorial Hospital - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Former Mayor Richard Daley leaves Northwestern Memorial Hospital

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Former Mayor Richard M. Daley left Northwestern Memorial Hospital Saturday afternoon after suffering stroke-like symptoms during a business trip in Arizona last week, the Sun-Times is reporting.

Daley, who spent eight nights in the hospital, left with his family without making any comments.

Daley, who was wearing a gray overcoat and his signature fedora, was in a wheelchair when he was brought to the hospital lobby but he eventually stood up with a hand from his son, Patrick.

The former mayor walked out to a white mini-van without any assistance and waved to reporters once he was seated in the vehicle's front passenger seat.

A source initially claimed Daley was having difficulty with his vision and speech during his out-of-state visit. But within the last few days, Daley's condition had improved greatly and he was reading and talking, a source said.

Doctors intended to hold a press conference to address Daley's health but those plans were scrapped last week.

Daley, 71, was taken to Northwestern by ambulance Jan. 31 upon his return to Chicago. On the flight back, Daley became disoriented, according to Daley spokesman Rick Jasculca, who said the former mayor was able to walk off the plane but that an ambulance was waiting as a precaution. Longtime Daley aide Jacquelyn Heard said Daley's family insisted he get checked out.

A source close to Daley downplayed the possibility of stroke-like symptoms and said the former mayor's family was with him, visiting between tests.

The health scare came on the day Daley nephew Richard J. "R.J." Vanecko pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the 2004 death of David Koschman.

Daley was hospitalized in March 2002 after fainting at Rosebud Steakhouse. He never lost consciousness, but slumped in his chair and was semi-coherent for less than a minute, then came out of it and walked into the emergency room, a doctor said at the time.

He was rushed to the hospital by ambulance in April 2000 after suffering chest pain at his South Loop home. That's when he was diagnosed with a congenital condition know as benign labile hypertension and prescribed a daily aspirin tablet and a common blood-pressure medication.

Before the April 2000 episode, Daley hadn't had a physical in 10 years, a doctor said at the time.

The mayor's father, Mayor Richard J. Daley, died of a heart attack at 74 a few years after having a stroke.

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