Vidal suffers cardiac arrest, recuperates at Cebu hospital ICU
CEBU CITY – Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal has been confined at the intensive care unit (ICU) of a private hospital in Cebu City after he suffered a cardiac arrest on Wednesday afternoon.
Fr. Joseph de Aquino, the ailing prelate’s secretary, said medical tests were conducted by physicians to determine the course of treatment for Vidal.
“The cardinal is confined at the ICU. That’s all I can say for now,” he said in a text message to the Inquirer on Thursday.
Dr. Rene Josef Bullecer, one of the physicians of Vidal, said the cardinal was rushed by his nurse from his retirement house in Sto. Niño Village in Barangay Banilad, Cebu City to the Perpetual Succour Hospital past 2 a.m. of October 11, due to fever and shortness of breath.
“The whole morning, he was doing well at the hospital. However, in the afternoon of Wednesday, the cardinal suddenly collapsed. He had a cardiac arrest,” he told the Inquirer.
Vidal, 86, and the country’s most senior cardinal, went unconscious, prompting Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma to administer to Vidal the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, which is performed on a seriously ill person for spiritual and physical strength.
Vidal was in coma throughout Thursday. Bullecer, however, said the cardinal showed positive signs on Friday morning when he began to open his eyes.
“We tried to pinch him, and he reacted. That means he has revived his sense of pain. That is really a good development. I can say that he has overcome the worst time of a cardiac arrest,” he said.
Based on their monitoring, Bullecer said Vidal has a blood infection and a bleeding in his kidney.
“We also have a little concern on his brain but his lungs are clear, and there is no problem with his heart,” he said.
Bullecer called on the members of the clergy and the faithful to pray for Vidal.
“The doctors will do their very best, but the final say will always be God. Let us pray that he will completely recover. The Church needs him, particularly his advices,” he said.
Vidal was archbishop of Cebu for 29 years before he retired in 2011. The native of Mogpog in Marinduque chose to spend his retirement years in Cebu where he continues to preside over Masses and attend special events in the country’s biggest archdiocese.
Since his retirement, he has been staying at the Sto. Niño Village in Cebu City.
Vidal is one of the country’s four living cardinals. The others are Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, and Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales.
But Vidal has been plagued by health problems.
In 2004, Vidal underwent a coronary angiogram procedure, an examination of the heart and blood vessels, and had a pacemaker installed to monitor his heart beat.
On September 23, 2013, Vidal was rushed to the hospital after a mild stroke. But he had been going in and out of the hospital due to pneumonia since 2014. Last May, he was confined at a hospital in Manila for the same ailment. /kga
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