McRaven cites ‘perfect storm of bad health’ for brief hospitalization


UT Chancellor Bill McRaven said a virus, chronic leukemia and anemia figured in his illness.

“I am feeling better and intend to be at work on Monday,” McRaven said.

University of Texas System Chancellor Bill McRaven said Friday that he was briefly hospitalized this week but did not have the flu as previously reported.

The leader of the 14-campus system said in a statement that he was suffering from a virus the previous week. He said “severe anemia, likely a result” of a chronic form of leukemia, came into play as well.

“This past Wednesday morning was the perfect storm of bad health and my condition took a sudden turn for the worse,” McRaven said. “I checked myself into the hospital where I was treated and released the following afternoon. I am feeling better and intend to be at work on Monday.”

McRaven had been scheduled to speak at the College of Charleston in South Carolina on Wednesday evening, but the event was canceled. The college posted on its website that he had been hospitalized “with a severe case of the flu.”

McRaven, a retired admiral and Navy SEAL, will turn 62 on Monday. He was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2010 while fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, as he explained during a commencement speech at the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas in 2015.

The illness is a type of blood cancer with symptoms that can include swollen lymph nodes and feeling tired, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“While the CLL has essentially been indolent or inactive, I also have severe anemia, likely a result of the CLL,” McRaven said in the statement.

McRaven directed the mission that resulted in the killing of Osama bin Laden. McRaven’s last military posting was as commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command.

He has been UT System Chancellor since January 2015.

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