VA Gov. McAuliffe in hospital after horseback injury in Africa

Published: Jan. 19, 2015 at 6:02 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2015 at 10:50 PM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - On Monday afternoon, Gov. Terry McAuliffe was admitted to VCU Medical center.  His office says he's getting treatment for injuries he sustained after falling off a horse. It happened while he was vacationing with his family in Africa over the holidays.

The recovery is expected to take several days.

Despite seven broken ribs, McAuliffe kept on top of his tight schedule.  On Monday morning he spoke about Martin Luther King Jr. at a Community Leaders Breakfast in Norfolk. On Sunday, he was in Richmond attending a fundraiser for Richmond Police Officer William Turner who was shot in the line of duty.

But according to the governor's office, McAuliffe has been trying to heal from several broken ribs since falling from a horse while on vacation with his family in Africa. Doctors thought his injuries would heal on its own, but on Monday McAuliffe was admitted to VCU Medical Center because doctors said there was increased fluid in his lungs.

Dr. Doug Cutter with HCA Sports Medicine is familiar with this type of injury and procedure. "They only way you can take care of that is to take the fluid off that area and that involves taking a tube in between the ribs and pulling the fluid off and that's done very successfully and it's a pretty easy procedure," he said. Cutter isn't treating the governor, but says the leader of the Commonwealth should take it easy.  "Fracture ribs are real painful it's hard to take a deep breath, it's hard to roll over in bed," he said.

The governor's office says recovery should take a few days. Doctors will decide if McAuliffe will recover at the hospital or at home.

His office says they do not anticipate the Chief of Staff having to take over any of the governor's duties at this time.

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