Friday, July 17, 2009

Pope Benedict Falls, Breaks Wrist







Photos above courtesy of Daylife

The Italian news agency ANSA quickly published the following more detailed report, in Italian, this morning:


ROMA - Papa Benedetto XVI viene operato al polso destro, dopo essere è caduto stanotte nella sua camera da letto, nello chalet di Les Combes, a 1300 metri di quota in Val d'Aosta, riportando una frattura scomposta. (Pope Benedict has had his right wrist operated on, after having fallen last night in his bedroom, in the chalet of Les Combes, at 1,300 meters altitude in Val d'Aosta, suffering a compound fracture.)

Secondo fonti vaticane, il pontefice è scivolato e non ha avuto alcun malore o svenimento. (According to Vatican sources, the pontiff slipped and did not have any sudden dizziness or fainting.)

In ogni caso lo hanno subito controllato il suo cardiologo ed il suo rianimatore personale. (In any case, his cardiologist and his personal doctor immediately took a look at him.)

A confermare le condizioni discrete del papa vi è il fatto che stamani - ha riferito il portavoce vaticano, padre Federico Lombardi - ha celebrato messa come ogni mattina, e ha fatto colazione. (In confirmation of the good health of the Pope is the fact that this morning -- as the Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said -- he celebrated Mass like every morning, and had breakfast.)

Poi è stato accompagnato, con la sua auto nera, all'ospedale di Aosta, dove è giunto alle 9 e 45 circa. (The he was brought, in his black car, to the hospital in aosta, which he reached at about 9:45 am.)

Il pontefice è sceso dall'auto, protetto come sempre in questa vacanza da imponenti misure di sicurezza, ed ha percorso a piedi il lungo corridoio di ingresso tra una piccola folla di curiosi e malati che lo hanno salutato. I sanitari lo hanno subito sottoposto ad una radiografia, e anche a un check up completo. (The pontiff got out of the car, protected as always during this vacation by massive measures of security, and walked on foot down the long entrance corridor among a little crowd of curious and sick people who greeted him. The doctors immediately did an x-ray, and also a complete physical check-up.)

Secondo quanto riferiscono ufficiosamente fonti ospedaliere, gli esami generali non hanno riscontrato alcun problema. (According to what the hospital sources say unofficially, the general exam did not reveal any problem whatsoever.)

Il papa ha dovuto però rimanere nel nosocomio, sotto osservazione, in attesa che i medici decidano il da farsi per la frattura. (But the Pope had to remain in the waiting room, under observation, until the doctors decided what to do about the fracture.)

E' probabile che debba subire un piccolo intervento, con anestesia locale. (It is probable that he must undergo a little operation, with local anesthetic.)

Quindi il polso verrà ingessato. (Then his wrist will be put in a cast.)

In serata, dicono i suoi collaboratori, dovrebbe fare rientro a Les Combes. (In the evening, his collaborators say, he should return to Les Combes.)

Ottimista anche padre Lombardi. (Father Lombardi is also optimistic.)

"Niente di grave" ha assicurato ai giornalisti. "Credo proprio che proseguirà le sue vacanze". Il portavoce vaticano si trova attualmente a Roma e dovrebbe raggiungere il pontefice domani sera, per l'Angelus di domenica, a Romano Canavese. ("Nothing serious," he assured the journalists. "I believe for sure he will continue his vacation." The spokesman is currently in Rome and is supposed to join the Pope tomorrow evening, for the Sunday Angelus, in Romano Canavese.)

Picture courtesy of (AP Photo/Alberto Pellaschiar)

Pope Benedict XVI has surgery:

AOSTA, Italy – Pope Benedict XVI broke his right wrist in a fall in his chalet while vacationing in the Italian Alps and underwent successful surgery Friday, hospital officials and the Vatican said.

The operation was performed under local anesthesia and went well, said Tiziano Trevisan, a spokesman at the Umberto Parini hospital in Aosta. Surgeons operated on the wrist to reduce the fracture, a procedure to realign the broken bone fragments, he said.

A Vatican statement said the 82-year-old pope fell in his room in a nearby chalet overnight and despite the accident, celebrated Mass and had breakfast before going to the hospital.

Doctors took an X-ray of the pope's right wrist and found a fracture, Trevisan said.

Benedict has been healthy during his five-year pontificate. There have been no reports of medical problems.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said earlier Friday that Benedict had slipped and was hurt, but that it did not seem serious.

He said the pope went to the hospital in the northwestern Italian town for an examination after the accident. ANSA reported that Benedict arrived at the hospital by car and walked into the first aid ward with an aide.

Benedict has been vacationing at a chalet in the village of Les Combes in the Valle d'Aosta region near the French border since Monday.

His predecessor, Pope John Paul II, also spent several summers at Les Combes. While John Paul liked to hike, Benedict spends most of his time inside the chalet that looks out on Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps.

Benedict has spent two summers at Les Combes in recent years. He said upon arrival that he expected to rest and work during his vacation.

Benedict is scheduled to be away until July 29, making at least two public appearances in the Valle d'Aosta area, including the traditional Angelus prayer on Sunday. He is expected to stick to his schedule despite the accident.
The Holy Father's medical history:

(ANSA) - Aosta, July 17 - Pope Benedict XVI insisted on waiting his turn behind other patients for an X-ray and operation on his broken right wrist Friday, hospital sources said.

The wrist operation had to be delayed because a peritonitis patient was in surgery, they said. The 82-year-old pope's op was ''a complete success'' and Benedict will return to his summer holiday Alpine retreat shortly, they said.

The pope broke his wrist in a fall in the chalet, the Vatican said.

Reuters news agency reported that the pope slipped in his bath like his predecessor John Paul II did in 1994 when he broke his hip. Two years earlier, in 1992, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, elected pope in 2005, fell in his bath during a holiday in northern Italy and hurt his head.
Read more about the unfortunate incident here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

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