Update (below): Kerry is 'in critical condition' as family asks for privacy

The wife of US Secretary of State John Kerry was rushed to the hospital Sunday after falling ill, a US source told AFP.

Teresa Heinz Kerry "suffered some kind of medical episode" and was taken to a local hospital in Nantucket, a source close to Kerry said.

Heinz Kerry, a multilingual philanthropist born to Portuguese parents in colonial-era Mozambique, was undergoing tests and Kerry was by her side, he added.

Kerry had been celebrating the July 4 holiday with his family at their home on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, on his first long break since he took over in February as the top US diplomat.

He and his wife, 74, have been married for some 18 years. It is a second marriage for both of them.

Kerry has kept up a grueling schedule since becoming secretary of state and had been expected to travel back to the Middle East soon as he pursues a bid to relaunch negotiations.

Update: Kerry is in 'critical condition' as family asks for privacy

The New York Times reported Sunday that a source close to the family claimed Mrs. Kerry was "in critical condition," but offered no information about her affliction.

Kerry, who almost became the First Lady of the United States in 2004, disclosed in 2009 that she had breast cancer.

She's since become a strong advocate of early, regular cancer screenings, which she's credited with catching her condition before it became life-threatening.


Stephen C. Webster contributed to this report.