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Son: No Cuban doctors for ailing former PM
Cuban doctors will not be coming to T&T to attend to former prime minister Patrick Manning who is recovering from a stroke in the Intensive Care Unit of the San Fernando General Hospital. Manning’s son, Brian, who spoke with reporters outside the Accident and Emergency Department of the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) yesterday afternoon, was confident his father was getting the best possible care at the hospital. “We have not contacted any Cuban doctors at all. My father is being well taken care of by the good doctors of the San Fernando General Hospital,” he added. Manning is under the care of Dr Neil Bhagwandass, Dr Kanta Ramcharan and a team of specialist doctors.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has instructed Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan to provide every available resource to ensure Manning was well taken care of. Chairman of the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA), Dr Lackram Bodoe, said everything was available at the hospital to treat Manning. Since Monday night, Brian, his brother, David, and their mother, Hazel, have been taking turns staying at Manning’s bedside. There has been a steady stream of supporters, well-wishers and dignitaries at the hospital but only a few people, outside of the immediate family, have been allowed to visit the ailing politician. Among those who have been to Manning’s bedside were his long-time political opponent, former prime minister Basdeo Panday, and his daughter, Mikela.
Former health minister Dr Amery Brown and Bodoe were also able to see Manning. Former ministers, Jerry Narace, Alicia Hospedales, Gary Hunt, Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, Howard Chin Lee and Arnold Piggott, along with Senator Faris Al Rawi and former House Speaker Barry Sinanan, visited and spoke with family members at the hospital. Brian said: “There are a lot of ridiculous rumours out there and there are a lot of people who want to come and visit right now but my father is not taking any visitors. “I know that people mean well but his doctors have asked that he not take any visitors and we are going to adhere to that. “He is resting comfortably and he’s not in a critical situation right now but we are taking every precaution. It’s a wait-and-see situation and we thank the country for their prayers.”
Brian said his father suffered a mild stroke and was in a stable condition. “He is being monitored and tested,” he said, without offering any further details. Brian said his mother also was handling the situation well. He added: “Our family is a strong one and we are prepared for whatever happens but we are optimistic and he is in fantastic health. “For the first time in a long time, he is in a good place. He is comfortable here.”
He added his father was aware of his surroundings and he hoped to make a speedy recovery. Al Rawi said prayer vigils were being held across the country. A prayer meeting was scheduled to be held in the San Fernando East and Diego Martin constituencies yesterday evening, PNM operations officer Irene Hinds said.
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