posted on Feb, 25 2005 @ 05:14 AM
Pope John Paul II has been taken off his respirator and can now breathe on his own again. This came after a tracheotomy to help breathing problems
the Pope was having as a result of a recurrence of flu-like symptoms. He is supposedly "serene" after surgery to insert a tube into his neck to
help him breathe.
"The tracheotomy will likely have serious consequences for the pope's abilities to carry on his duties. The operation would prevent him from being
able to speak for an extended period and probably require a long hospital stay."
Cabinet Undersecretary Gianni Letta, Berlusconi's right-hand man, told reporters at Gemelli Polyclinic Hospital that he had met the pope, who
appeared well. After the operation, John Paul raised his hand and attempted to speak with doctors but was told not to try, Letta said.
"I entered Gemelli very somber and sad and I leave very satisfied," Letta said. "Doctors are very satisfied both at how he got through the operation
and in these first hours of the postoperative phase."
A medical bulletin was expected around 6 a.m. EST Friday, news reports said. As dawn broke in Rome, all appeared calm at the hospital. Vatican
spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said Thursday's procedure was completed in "a positive way" and lasted 30 minutes.
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It seems that even if he pulls through this he will unlikely take up his position again, and moves to find his successor must surely be under way.
Apparantly this problem was much worse than the previous one, and the fact that he has had to go back so quickly is not a good sign.
I imagine it'll be a bit of a cat fight between the would be successors.