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Former Mayor Richard Daley leaves after 8 nights in hospital

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Updated: March 10, 2014 6:50AM

Former Mayor Richard M. Daley left Northwestern Memorial Hospital Saturday afternoon after suffering stroke-like symptoms that kept him in the hospital for more than a week.

Wearing a gray overcoat and his signature fedora, Daley was brought to the lobby in a wheelchair but stood with a hand from his son Patrick Daley. He walked to a white minivan without assistance, got in to the front passenger seat and waved to reporters but made no comment.

Daley, 71, spent eight nights in the hospital after feeling ill during a business trip to Arizona.

A source initially said Daley was having difficulty with his vision and speech during his out-of-state trip. But Daley’s condition improved greatly in the past few days and he was reading and talking, a source said.

Daley was taken to Northwestern by ambulance Jan. 31 after becoming disoriented during his flight back to Chicago, according to Daley spokesman Rick Jasculca, who said the former mayor was able to walk off the plane but that the ambulance was there as a precaution.

The health scare came on the day Daley nephew Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the 2004 death of David Koschman.

Daley had been hospitalized in March 2002 after slumping in his chair and briefly becoming semi-coherent while out at a restaurant.

In April 2000, he was taken by ambulance to a hospital after feeling chest pain at his South Loop home. He was diagnosed then with a congenital condition called benign labile hypertension and prescribed a daily aspirin tablet and a blood-pressure medication.

The mayor’s father, Mayor Richard J. Daley, died of a heart attack at 74 a few years after having a stroke.

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