On Thursday evening, in front of more than 1,000 people, Bryson urged Poly’s 91 graduates to stay curious and to be good stewards of the world. But his passion and eloquence was tempered by mistakes and lapses, students and parents said. Several times, Bryson, a polished public speaker, appeared to lose his place in his remarks. He mispronounced words without correcting himself.
Some parents ascribed it to nerves. Some students concluded that it was just a middling graduation speech. But it may have been something quite serious — the onset of what officials described as a series of seizures, leading to two hit-and-run car accidents. Late Monday, the White House announced that Bryson, 68, will take a medical leave of absence as “he undergoes tests and evaluations.”
Bryson lost consciousness behind the wheel of his Lexus on Saturday after striking two cars, one of them twice, authorities said. Bryson was not seriously injured, but hospitalized overnight, then returned to Washington to undergo medical tests. Obama wished Bryson well on Monday, and said White House officials were still trying to sort through the details. . .