French President Nicolas Sarkozy (54) collapsed while jogging yesterday morning on the lush grounds of the Chateau of Versailles.
He was then rushed to a millitary hospital by helicopter where was kept under cardiological observation in the Val-de-Grace military hospital overnight. The tests done to him were all reported to be normal.
French Health Ministry Roselyne Bachelot said Sarkozy had suffered a “small” vasovagal episode, which can be caused by strenuous exercise when it is very hot.
Eye witness walking in the gardens of the Sun King's palace leading to La Lanterne said he saw the President running with his body guards. He looked "tired and was almost dragging his feet" and suddenly fell over. His personal physician was around and he gave initial support. Information says he never lost counciousness.
Currently, he has been discharged from the hospital.
During his presidential campaign, Sarkozy pushed for greater transparency on presidential health bulletins, but his short hospital stay for a throat problem in 2007 was revealed only three months later.
Previous French presidents regularly concealed their health problems.
The French public learned that former President Georges Pompidou had bone marrow cancer only after he died of it, while in office, on April 2, 1974.
Former President Francois Mitterrand, who led France from 1981-95 and died of prostate cancer just months after leaving office, ordered his doctor to systematically falsify his health bulletins for 11 years.
Former President Jacques Chirac was hospitalized for a week at Val de Grace in 2005 for a vascular problem and officials never fully explained what was wrong.
Vasovagal episode can occur at any person especially when doing strenous exercises in particular to those who have tight schedules or they are extremely busy.
In some eye surgeries, which involve radical removal of the eyeball, may result this reflex, and usually eye doctors are are fully aware of this, and just before cutting the last "stalk", all precautions are taken. As rarely may lead into cardiac arrest.