John Dingell suffers small heart attack

Former U.S. Rep. John D. Dingell

Former U.S. Rep. John D. Dingell

Former U.S. Rep. recovering at Henry Ford Hospital

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Former U.S. Rep. John Dingell, 92, is recovering at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit after suffering a heart attack on Sept. 17.

His wife, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn), posted the news on her personal Facebook page writing, “Our journey of life continues. John was feeling off this morning and it appears he may have had a small heart attack.”

The post continued to say, “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.”

That same afternoon Debbie Dingell gave an update on tests John Dingell was undergoing.

“They are continuing to monitor his enzymes so drawing blood every few hours. They are doing other tests and may do a heart cauterization tomorrow,” she wrote. “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)…… we will make decisions tomorrow when we have data and options.”

John Dingell issued a tweet on Sept. 19.

“Rumors of my demise may have only been slightly exaggerated, but I’m still here and you’re not done with me yet,” it read. “Thankful for all of your thoughts, your prayers, and for @RepDebDingell. Just not in that order.”

On Sept. 18, Debbie Dingell said tests continued at the hospital and that she had been reading notes to her husband.

“I Just want to thank everyone for all the warmth, love and prayers the last twenty four hours. I read John all the notes at 3am,” she wrote on her Facebook. “I don’t have much to report as they are still doing multiple tests and we won’t make plans for next steps until at least tomorrow. I am relieved that those enzymes that kept going up stabilized and hopefully ‘peaked’ out. I am for the conservative approach that keeps him safe and does no harm (yes a Democrat said that) so just getting all the facts.”

John Dingell was also in the hospital in October 2015 when he underwent an angiogram where doctors determined he did not have a silent heart attack. In December  2014, he was also in the hospital after fracturing his hip in a fall.

The former congressman was the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history, serving almost 60 years from 1955 to 2015 in Michigan’s 15th, 16th and 12th districts.

He retired in 2014, with Debbie Dingell succeeding him after she won the 12th District House seat during the November 2014 general election.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at