Friday, July 17, 2009

After Broken Wrist, Pope in Surgery

Having broken his right wrist in a bathroom fall last night, earlier today the Pope was checked into a hospital near his Alpine retreat, where he currently remains:
In a statement, the Vatican said that the 82-year-old pontiff had slipped in his room in the chalet where he is staying in the mountainous Valle d’Aosta region, but was well enough to eat breakfast and celebrate Mass before being taken by car to the local hospital.

“It’s nothing serious,” the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said in a telephone interview . He said that the pope’s wrist had been “immobilized,” but he was not sure whether it required a cast.

Tiziano Trevisan, a spokesman for the hospital in Aosta where the pope was taken, said that the pontiff would remain at the hospital for several hours. “The doctors are evaluating how to proceed with the fracture,” Mr. Trevisan said. He did not rule out surgery but also said a “less invasive” intervention might suffice....

Father Lombardi said it remained to be seen whether the pope would keep his two scheduled commitments: delivering an Angelus message in two parishes near Aosta on the coming two Sundays.
This is the first hospital visit for B16 since his 2005 election; the pontiff turned 82 in mid-April.

Prior to becoming the 265th bishop of Rome, however, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had experienced health problems including an ischemic stroke following an earlier bathroom fall and a heart condition that led Benedict's brother, Msgr Georg Ratzinger, to publicly express concern following his younger sibling's election.

SVILUPPO (7.30am ET):
The Pope is undergoing surgery on the wrist:
Tiziano Trevisan, a spokesman at the Umberto Parini hospital in Aosta, says surgeons were operating Friday on the wrist to reduce the fracture, a procedure to realign the broken bone fragments....

He said they were giving 82-year-old Benedict "light sedation," though heavier anesthesia may be given as the surgery progresses.
PHOTO: Getty