Virginia state Sen. Charles J. Colgan (D-Prince William) woke up Tuesday morning with chest pains. He is 85, with a history of heart trouble. He’s also the longest-serving senator in state history. And he
didn’t get that way by neglecting his duties.
So the 10-term senator, who boxes for exercise and portrayed himself as Rocky in campaign ads, headed to an early morning Senate Finance Committee meeting instead of the emergency room.
When that wrapped up about 10:30 a.m., he popped in to see the doctor on hand at the Capitol. The doctor told him to go to the hospital.
“I said, ‘I’ll go after [the day’s Senate] session,’” Colgan said. “The doctor didn’t like that very much.”
When the session was over about 12:30 p.m., Colgan agreed to let a Capitol Police officer drive him to nearby Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center. By then, the former World War II pilot, who chaired the powerful Senate Finance Committee until this year’s Republican takeover, was feeling better.
“I said, ‘I feel pretty good,’” Colgan said. “They took an electrocardiogram and there was something they didn’t like. They wouldn’t let me go home.”
He spent the night at the hospital, where he said he was given medication to clear a blockage. Though a little fuzzy on the details, Colgan said he did not undergo any surgical procedures.
“They gave me quite a bit of medicine,” he said. “I sort of lost track of all the things they were doing. They kept me busy.”
Colgan, who underwent angioplasty 10 years ago and had two stents put in six years ago, was released from the hospital Wednesday — too late to attend the day’s session. He went not to his home in Prince William, but his hotel room in Richmond.
That way, he said, he won’t be late for the finance subcommittee meeting that starts at 8 a.m. Thursday.