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PM on get-well mission


rhondathompson, [email protected]

PM on get-well mission

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As Prime Minister David Thompson battles on at a New York City hospital after a “complication” forced his return from Barbados on Monday, he is focused on getting back to good health.
That’s the word from the Prime Minister himself, who promised yesterday that on his return home – possibly as early as next week – he would give a detailed explanation of his sickness, and the treatment he has been receiving, to the people of Barbados.
“I plan to speak on the nature of the illness and explain the situation to the people of Barbados,” Thompson said in an exclusive telephone interview with the DAILY NATION from his hospital bed, 90 minutes before he spoke in a radio hook-up with Starcom Network.
The Prime Minister, who answered the phone himself when it rang at the New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Centre, didn’t comment on the treatment he was receiving, but said he was handling his health challenges, confident he would be better.
“The emphasis is on getting well,” he said. “I understand that.”
Thompson admitted that a “complication” on the weekend had forced his return to New York Presbyterian, one of the world’s leading health care centres, that treats patients for almost every illness.
The Prime Minister is accompanied by his wife Mara, who told the DAILY NATION she was dealing well with the challenges.
Thompson, in his link-up with Starcom, said he had authorised his physician Dr Richard Ishmael, also in New York, to give an update on his medical condition by next week.
The Prime Minister told Starcom moderator and journalist David Ellis: “It is nothing to do with reluctance. I would rather [Barbadians] hear from the medical expert. I am not a medical expert.
“I have an idea what is wrong with me, but I don’t think that is something that in the circumstances . . . . It may be better for him to speak first and for me to come later.”
Thompson said it was more a case of his restoring his health rather than his holding onto power.
“When I see Barbadians, their first concern is for me to restore my health and that is what I have been focusing on. In the circumstances, I believe that should I need to take any course of action in the interest of the country that I love, I will take that course of action.
“At the same time, one doesn’t want to unsettle the social, political and economic environment.”
Thompson reminded Ellis that he was still as sharp as ever.
“This is me speaking to you, and I think that you can work out from that [that] my brain is still functioning, that I am able to talk lucidly, and I am able to carry out my functions – maybe not with the same level of physical intensity as before.
“I will in my circumstance do my best; but all of this at the end of the day depends on the grace of God and his provision for me to carry out this mission.”
Barbadians called Starcom Network afterwards, with many of them expressing their support for the Prime Minister. One man said he was hoping for a miracle for Thompson.
There were mixed reviews for Ellis on his handling of the interview. Some thought he was considerate and sensitive to the issue, while others felt he should have pressed Thompson for more information on his illness.
New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Centre is a prominent international referral facility and is considered among the best in the world. It is currently ranked sixth in the United States by US News & World Report.
Located on 68th Street in Manhattan, it is affiliated with two Ivy League medical schools: Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Cornell University Weill Medical College. (TB/MK)

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