Looking back, Vicki says 2008 began with excitement and promise. That January, Sen. Kennedy took the stage with his niece Caroline and publicly endorsed Democratic candidate Barack Obama for president. "I'm proud to stand here with him today and offer my help, offer my voice, offer my energy, my commitment to make Barack Obama the next president of the United States," he said.
Then, as primary season came to a close, Sen. Kennedy suffered a seizure at his Cape Cod home. Vicki says that day was supposed to be the start of sailing season, but instead it marked the beginning of the end.
"We woke up as usual, went downstairs to have coffee. He took the dogs out for their first walk, as usual, and read the newspapers," Vicki says. "Then, he was taking the dogs out again, and suddenly I heard Judy, a wonderful friend of ours who's been with us at the Cape for a long time. She said, "Vicki! Vicki!" And I ran into the dining room, and Teddy was sitting in a chair there. I knew something very grave was happening."
Sen. Kennedy was rushed to the hospital, and after a barrage of tests, Vicki says doctors gave them the grim diagnosis. There was a cancerous tumor in his brain, and Vicki says doctors told Sen. Kennedy he had a few months to live.
"He was given a very, very short period of time, and he just didn't accept that," she says. "Two to four months one doctor said, but it just didn't compute with him."