Spanish paper claims Castro in 'very grave' condition

16th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

16 January 2007, MADRID — The prognosis for Fidel Castro is "very grave," according to a report in a Spanish newspaper on Tuesday.

16 January 2007

MADRID — The prognosis for Fidel Castro is "very grave," according to a report in a Spanish newspaper on Tuesday.

El Pais said the Cuban leader has had three "failed" intestinal operations complicated by stubborn and spreading infections.

The newspaper quoted two unidentified sources who work at Madrid's Gregorio Marañon Hospital, the place of employment of a noted surgeon who travelled last month to Cuba to examine Castro and advise on his treatment.

The paper said part of Castro's large intestine was removed following a diagnosis of diverticulitis, a condition involving inflammation of the intestinal walls and internal bleeding.

"That became aggravated by peritonitis," or the spreading of the infection to the walls of the abdomen, according to the article.

The 80-year-old longtime Communist leader underwent further surgery to re-connect the large intestine to the rectum "in an effort to re-establish the natural dynamic," according to the paper.

But that operation failed because "the infection caused the connection to break, which allowed feces into the abdomen, which caused a new peritonitis."

Castro then had a colostomy, which involves making an opening in the lower abdomen for feces to emerge into a plastic bag.

These procedures were effected in the context of stubborn infections that proved resistant to anti-biotics, and a fistula in the bile duct further complicated matters, according to the report.

"Castro has lost during this process much of his muscular mass and he requires intravenous nutrition," the article says.

The 48-year-old Castro regime, since July under the "temporary" direction of younger brother and defense minister Raul Castro, has treated Fidel's illness as a state secret and not provided a diagnosis or prognosis.

Jose Luis Garcia Sabrido, head of surgery at Gregorio Marañon Hospital, said last month after travelling to Cuba that Fidel does not have cancer nor any other "malignant illness."

He said Castro was continuing to recover from a series of post-operative problems arising from the original late-July surgery to stop intestinal bleeding.

The Cuban leader's post-operative difficulties were in a phase of "slow, but progressive, resolution," the Spanish surgeon said last month.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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