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VOL. 122 | NO. 119 | Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sen. Ophelia Ford Hospitalized After Report of Heart Pains

AP

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State Sen. Ophelia Ford was being treated at a hospital Monday after complaining of chest pains, a television station reported.

Ford was taken by ambulance Sunday morning from her Memphis home to Methodist University Hospital after telling emergency medical technicians she was suffering chest pains, WHBQ-TV reported, citing an incident report filed with the Memphis Fire Department.

Details about Ford's condition were not available by press time. Ford was not listed as a patient at the hospital, spokeswoman Ruth Ann Hale said. Patients may request not to be listed on the directory to protect their privacy.

A message left on Ford's cell phone Monday night was not returned immediately . A number previously listed for her home was not in service.

The state senator's brother, Shelby County Commissioner Joe Ford, said she was being treated at the hospital, but he did not know her condition or the nature of her illness.

"When you called me today it was the first that I'd heard that she was in a hospital, and I did check," he told the television station. "She's at Methodist University Hospital. The reason for going, I don't know."

Sen. Ford has said she has been suffering from anemia that has sapped her energy and caused her to miss several weeks of this year's legislative session.

Relatives have said they were concerned about her behavior in recent months. Joe Ford believes his sister suffers from a problem with substance abuse, a claim she has repeatedly denied.

She shocked lawmakers and observers with an angry, rambling tirade that lasted several minutes in a Senate committee meeting May 14.

The next day she was taken to a hospital after falling from a bar stool at a Nashville hotel. Ford attributed her fall to problems she's had with anemia and to not eating properly, while a hotel employee told a 911 dispatcher that she was intoxicated.

The following week a taxi driver filed a police report accusing Ford of yanking his shirt while he drove her from a Nashville night spot to her hotel. No charges were filed.     

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