ASUNCIÓN, Paraguay — Fernando Lugo, a former bishop who served as the nation’s president 2008-2012, was in an induced coma after suffering a stroke Aug. 10 while working in Congress.
Lugo began to feel unwell while he was in a Senate office and was immediately transferred to a downtown hospital, where he was put into a coma, said his doctor.
“To stabilize him, we sedated him and connected him to a mechanical ventilation device, and we did the corresponding studies … if this was the entire injury and we did not find a new injury, tomorrow, I estimate, we would be trying to wake him up and disconnect him from the respirator,” Dr. Jorge Querey, a senator from the Guasú Front, the same center-left party to which Lugo belongs, told the media Aug. 10.
Querey also reported that late at night they detected bleeding in Lugo’s brain, for which they ran tests to determine if the problem could be controlled without surgery.
Lugo had “small and very mild” symptoms during his recent trip to the inauguration of Colombian President Gustavo Petro, so he did not pay attention to it, Querey explained.
“I want to be very clear: Every patient who enters (the) intensive care unit is always a patient who has risks. It seems that the evolution could be positive. Within the complexity, the situation is controlled,” he added.
Argentine President Alberto Fernández wished Lugo “all my support for his loved ones and a lot of strength for our brother (of the) Paraguayan people.”
Former Bolivian President Evo Morales wrote on his Twitter account: “Our solidarity and wishes for a speedy recovery for our brother Lugo. You are not alone brother Fernando! May God, Pachamama and the love of your people give you the strength to overcome this difficult moment.”
During his government, Lugo was diagnosed with an early stage of lymphoma; he received treatment in Brazil and was able to continue with a normal life.
The former Catholic bishop was considered one of the leaders of the liberation theology movement in Paraguay. He resigned as bishop two years before assuming his leadership in the Guasú Front. He managed to unite a wide ideological spectrum.
In 2012, he was impeached as president in what he called a “parliamentary coup d’etat.”