POPE IS BREATHING ON HIS OWN FOLLOWING TRACHEOTOMY
VATICAN CITY, FEB 25, 2005 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following declaration to journalists this morning regarding the Pope’s condition following last evening’s tracheotomy at Gemelli Polyclinic:
"The Holy Father spent a night of tranquil rest.
"This morning he ate breakfast with a good appetite.
"The post-operative situation continues regularly.
"He is breathing on his own and cardio-circulatory conditions remain good.
"Upon the advice of his doctors, the Pope must not speak for several days so as to favor the recovery of the functions of the larynx.
“A new medical bulletin is not foreseen until next Monday, February 28 at 12:30 p.m.”
At a 12:30 press conference today for journalists, Dr. Navarro-Valls stated the following:
"I wish to review the circumstances prior to the Holy Father’s admittance yesterday to the hospital.
"From the moment that the Pope left the hospital on February 10, he had no fever. This allowed him to undertake his normal activity: Mass in the morning, ‘ad limina’ audiences, receiving his collaborators, etc.
"Certainly, there is not now - nor was there ever - any bronchial-pulmonary infection.
"Naturally, he followed a normal diet.
“Rather, as I said in my communique yesterday, there were ‘new episodes of acute respiratory insufficiency, caused by a pre-existing functional restriction of the larynx’. The Pope was watched over in his apartment, in case the need arose, by a doctor specialized in reanimation and by Dr. Camaioni, whom I mentioned yesterday.”
"The tracheotomy that the Pope underwent yesterday was called an ‘elective tracheotomy’: this means that it was not an emergency procedure. As we said yesterday, it was a question of ‘assuring adequate breathing for the patient and to favor the resolution of the larynx pathology’.
“He is now breathing better, feels notable relief and does not need assistance in breathing - from a machine or otherwise.”
In answer to journalists’ questions, the press office director stressed that the Pope did not have a fever either yesterday or today. He added that Pope John Paul had his “usual” breakfast of coffee with milk, several small cookies and yogurt, and “he ate it all.”
As to the Sunday Angelus, the director added that he would be speaking to the Pope’s secretary, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz and to his doctors to see what could be arranged for the Angelus prayer and reflections and would let the media know in a timely fashion.
Responding to a journalist who asked how the Pope communicates, he said: “It is rather difficult to explain. What I can say is that when he went back to his room, the anesthesia was very light, given the light surgery that he had, and he made a gesture saying he wanted to write. And he wrote, jokingly, 'What have they done to me? But right afterwards he wrote (his motto): ‘Totus tuus’ (I am all yours).”
Last evening Navarro-Valls, made the following declaration on the condition of Pope John Paul II:
"The flu syndrome, which was the reason behind the Pope’s admittance this morning to Gemelli Polyclinic, in recent days was complicated by new episodes of acute respiratory insufficiency, caused by a pre-existing functional restriction of the larynx.
"This clinical picture pointed to an elective tracheotomy to assure adequate breathing for the patient and to favor the resolution of the larynx pathology.
"The Holy Father, duly informed, gave his consent.
"The procedure, which began at 8:20 p.m. and ended at 8:50 p.m., was successfully completed. The immediate post-operative situation is regular.
"The Holy Father is spending the night in his hospital room.
"The surgery was performed by Dr. Gaetano Paludetti, professor of otorhinolarynology at Sacred Heart Catholic University and by Dr. Angelo Camaioni, head of otorhinolarynology at St. John’s Hospital in Rome, assisted by Dr. Giovanni Almadori.
"The anethesia was administered by Dr.Rodolfo Proietti, professor of anesthesiology and reanimation at Sacred Heart Catholic University, with the collaboration of Doctors Massimo Antonelli and Filippo Zanghi.
"Also present at the surgery were Dr. Enrico De Campora, professor of otorhinolarynology at the University of Florence and consultant for the Health Department of Vatican City State and by Dr. Renato Buzzonetti, the personal physician of the Holy Father."
OP/HEALTH POPE/NAVARRO-VALLS VIS 050225 (710)