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Massachusetts’ Weld Collapses at Commencement

<i> From Associated Press</i>

Massachusetts Gov. William F. Weld collapsed Saturday during commencement at Bentley College, but doctors said they found nothing seriously wrong with him.

The 50-year-old governor had just received an honorary doctorate of law when he fainted.

“He fell headfirst [toward the podium], but they caught him,” said Bill Petras, a graduating senior who sat five rows from the stage.

Weld was briefly unconscious but was alert by the time he was lifted onto a stretcher and taken to an ambulance. Moments before fainting, Weld had started shaking as he approached the podium, Petras said.

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Weld, a Republican who is challenging John Kerry for his U.S. Senate seat, had been scheduled to give the keynote address at Bentley’s undergraduate commencement, but he never got a chance.

“Right now it looks like maybe the flu,” said Pam Jonah, one of Weld’s press aides, adding that the governor would stay in Deaconess-Waltham Hospital for 24 hours of observation.


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