ABC News reports 94 Year old Nelson Mandela is in critical condition. He has been battling a severe lung infection since June 8th, and up until today had been listed as “serious but stable.” The unexpected turn for the worse began Saturday night.
Jacob Zuma, the President of South Africa, said “The doctors are doing everything possible to get his condition to improve and are ensuring that Madiba is well-looked after and is comfortable. He is in good hands.” Madiba refers to Mandela’s nickname.
During the initial ambulance ride earlier in June, Mandela had to wait in blistering heat while the driver tried to deal with sudden engine problems. There had been reports of his having a cardiac event during the wait for a second vehicle, but those reports turned out to be unfounded.
President Zuma issued a statement to counter reports that Mandela’s health has suffered because of the ambulance problems:
“There were seven doctors in the convoy who were in full control of the situation throughout the period. He had expert medical care,” he said. “The fully equipped military ICU ambulance had a full complement of specialist medical staff including intensive care specialists and ICU nurses. The doctors also dismissed the media reports that Madiba suffered cardiac arrest. There is no truth at all in that report.”
Both Mandela daughter, Zenani Mandela-Dlamini and President Zuma had stated earlier this week that his health outlook was steadily getting better, so the news comes as a surprise to some who had been following his condition.
Former South African President Thabo Mbeki had also reassured the public earlier this week that Mandela’s health was improving:
“Nelson Mandela is improving in terms of his health. I don’t think anyone should entertain some sort of wrong notion that Nelson Mandela is about to die tomorrow. He’s not going to.”
This is not the first time Mandela has had lung problems. In April of this year, he was in the hospital for almost three weeks for a similar infection. The trouble with his lungs initially began when he spent time as a political prisoner while fighting apartheid.
He was incarcerated for 27 years and won the Nobel Peace prize for his efforts after his release. He also went on to become the President of South Africa.
Social media exploded upon the news that the former leader, considered by many to be one of the greatest heroes of modern times, had been downgraded to critical condition.
“One of my personal & political heroes, Nelson Mandela, is now critically ill. I pray for his recovery or that his passing be without pain” said Twitter user Brianmoore666.
While some prayed for his recovery, others praised his accomplishments:
Twitter user Grandmastiff Flash said “Nelson Mandela spent time in prison for what he believed. Did not run and hide. True hero.”
@ISHR tweeted-“Our thoughts this evening are with Nelson Mandela – a true hero and inspiration to human rights defenders everywhere.”
We will keep you updated on the events as they unfold.
By: Rebecca Savastio
Source: ABC News