Arroyo still in ICU; Ally thanks critics for prayers | Inquirer News

Arroyo still in ICU; Ally thanks critics for prayers

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 07:28 PM July 30, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—An ally of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Saturday thanked her critics for praying for and wishing her well while she underwent surgery.

“I wish to thank them for letting up on their criticism of her until she recovers,” Mayor Jerry Pelayo of Candaba, Pampanga, told reporters at the St. Lukes’s Medical Center in Taguig City, where Arroyo is recuperating from a five-hour operation Friday on her cervical spine.

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“I especially want to thank Senator Panfilo Lacson for understanding that the former president should not be subjected to stress or pressure that could hamper her recovery,” he said. “I heard him say that they should go easy on the former president until she has fully recovered and able to face her accusers. It’s a sign of a true gentleman.”

Lacson was among Arroyo’s adversaries in the Senate who earlier wished her well.

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The senators cited “humanitarian reasons” for the temporary ceasefire, saying they understood the Pampanga congresswoman’s condition.

Arroyo is facing multiple congressional investigations and six plunder cases on charges ranging from alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office  funds and alleged cheating in the 2004 presidential elections.

“We welcome the charges filed against her. Personally, I’m all for it because I also want to know the truth. But please give her a break now; allow her to fully recover first and let due process take its course,” Pelayo said.

He also thanked the Palace for wishing Arroyo well.

Around noon Saturday, Pelayo said, Arroyo remained at the surgical intensive care unit.

“She was asleep. She looks okay and recuperating well,” he said, adding that it was her daughter, Luli Arroyo Bernas, who was watching over the former president.

Dr. Juliet Cervantes, Arroyo’s attending physician, earlier clarified that Arroyo’s confinement in the ICU was part of the protocol since the surgery involved the spine.

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Before 2 p.m., Arroyo’s sons, Representatives Mikey and Dato Arroyo, arrived at the hospital.

As of 2:30 p.m., doctors had yet to release a medical bulletin on Arroyo.

On Friday night, hours after her operation, her doctors said Arroyo was “doing well” and the prognosis for her recovery was “remarkable.”

They said recovery time would be around three weeks, and Arroyo will have to stay home throughout that  period to recuperate fully.

Dr. Mario Ver, who led a team of doctors who performed the operation, said Arroyo had been suffering from the ailment for eight years, earlier diagnosed as cervical spondylosis, which he had been treating conservatively with physical therapy until she could no longer tolerate the pain.

Cervical spondylosis, an age-related deterioration in the bones of the neck, causes a misalignment in the spine which in turn puts pressure on the nerves that transmit signals to the upper extremities.

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TAGS: cervical spine, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Health, News, Politics, surgery
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