Posted: Sept. 27, 2006


By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer

U.S. Rep. Michael N. Castle quietly went home Wednesday evening, four days after a small stroke put him in Christiana Hospital in Stanton for treatment.

Castle's departure was not announced until afterward, when his congressional office released a statement from him. It said:

"I am very happy to be going home. I am not a very good patient, so it will be good to be home and get some rest.

"I am appreciative of the top-notch care I received here and at Beebe Medical Center in Lewes throughout this situation. The staff and physicians couldn't have been better. I also appreciate the outpouring of thoughts and well wishes. I look forward to making a full recovery and hope to be back to my regular activities in due time."

Castle, 67, of Wilmington, experienced the stroke, which technically was two small strokes, Saturday morning while he and his wife Jane were staying at their beach house in Dewey Beach. He went first to Beebe and then was airlifted to Christiana.

It has taken him away from the Congress, which is in session this week, and interrupted his campaign for an eighth term as Delaware's only member in the U.S. House of Representatives. Castle, a Republican who previously served statewide as lieutenant governor and governor, is being challenged by Democrat Dennis Spivack and two minor-party candidates.

Cardiologist Michael E. Stillabower, who treated Castle, also issued a statement through the congressional office, saying, "I am very pleased with Congressman Castle's rapid recovery. Our biggest challenge will be keeping him off the campaign trail, so I am recommending he get plenty of rest and do nothing strenuous over the next several weeks."

Castle has not been seen in public since the stroke, and it is uncertain when he will make an appearance. "If he has his way, it will be sooner rather than later," said Elizabeth B. Wenk, the deputy chief of staff.