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HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

History of Fidel Castro health

Posted November 21, 2005 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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Miami Herald | Monika Leal

• January 1989: Time magazine reports Castro gave up cigar smoking in 1985 because doctors discovered a small malignancy in a lung.

• June 24, 2001: Castro faints as he delivers an outdoor speech in a suburb of Havana. He quickly recovers.

• May 2003: Witnesses say Castro collapsed as he exited an inauguration event in Buenos Aires for Argentine President Nestor Kirchner.

• January 2004: Luis Eduardo Garzon, the mayor of Bogot´┐Ż, says Castro ‘‘seemed very sick’’ following a meeting with him during a vacation in Cuba.

• May 2004: Dr. Eugenio Selman Housein, Castro’s physician, says, ‘‘He is formidably well,’’ and is healthy enough to live at least 140 years.

• October 30, 2004: Castro fractures his knee and arm after falling at the end of a televised public speech in the central province of Santa Clara.

Member Comments

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On January 20, 2007, publisher wrote:

This is an old article but thought I would update it with some information about what could be ailing Fidel Castro after his surgery. Found this:

Dear Dr. Malloy: Do you have any idea what’s going on with Fidel Castro? I read he doesn’t have cancer but what else takes you out of commission for five months? I had my whole colon removed for ulcerative colitis and was back to work in six weeks. P.A.

Dear P.A.: I have no inside knowledge of Fidel Castro’s case but there are three basic things that can sideline you after surgery: progression of the primary condition, serious complications from surgery and exacerbation of underlying health problems.

In the first, the condition that necessitated the surgery can continue and worsen. Cancer is the most prominent of these. Inflammation such as colitis, ulcers and abdominal infections can be ongoing.

Next, complications can follow surgery and go on for months or even years. These would include new infections, such as staph and wound healing problems. News releases have cited complications as the cause of Castro’s prolonged absence.

Finally, major surgery can cause problems in other body systems, especially when the patient is 80 years old, as Castro is. Congestive heart failure, renal shutdown and stroke are just a few of the possibilities.