Health Minister stable after NY heart surgery
Stabroek News
January 3, 2004

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Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy is in stable condition at the Stony Brook University Hospital, New York after undergoing triple bypass heart surgery on New Year's Day.

This is the second triple bypass for Ramsammy whose condition is said to be "good". His son, Shaun Ramsammy, told Stabroek News yesterday afternoon that his father had had some bleeding complications following the surgery and that renal failure and infection followed.

At around 8.30 last night, the younger Ramsammy said "My father is in good condition, I have heard some people saying that he is on life support, but he is not on life support. He has had the bypass yesterday [New Year's Day], and has had some bleeding complications but he is good condition right now".

The younger Ramsammy says his father had had a "tough time" as the surgeons had to reopen him twice after surgery because of the intense bleeding. However, he said his father is heading in the right direction on his road to recovery.

Ramsammy, 54, travelled to New York a few days ago and did a stress test which showed that all was not well. Ramsammy had a triple bypass 16 years ago.

Stabroek News was told that following his visit to New York, an angioplasty procedure was done but it was found that one of the arteries was bleeding and hence the rush to open-heart surgery on New Year's Day. (Angioplasty entails a non-surgical procedure to open up clogged blood vessels.)

The minister's son said that his family has been updating the Health Ministry here on his father's progress regularly. Ramsammy's secretary told Stabroek News yesterday that she had no instructions to release such information.

A release from the Government Information Agency said that the minister is in the USA receiving urgent medical attention and that Public Service Minister, Dr Jennifer Westford is performing his functions.

Ramsammy campaigned for the PPP/C during the March 2001 elections and was subsequently made a minister. He was a presidential candidate for the 1992 elections for the United Republican Party and after this went into private business with Bio Med Labs at Woodlands Hospital. (Gitanjali Singh)