Brazilian president OK after hiccups that lasted more than 10 days

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro speaks to reporters as he leaves the hospital Sunday after recovering from an intestinal obstruction in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Caption
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro speaks to reporters as he leaves the hospital Sunday after recovering from an intestinal obstruction in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Credit: Nelson Antoine

Credit: Nelson Antoine

Leader blames 2018 stabbing for intestinal complications

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro left a hospital Sunday after four days of treatment for an unusual case of hiccups that lasted more than 10 days.

Bolsonaro had been under care since July 14 after doctors discovered a partial intestinal obstruction and put him on a non-solid diet.

The 66-year-old president did not need surgery.

His condition immediately prompted concerns about an attack in 2018 when Bolsonaro was stabbed in the intestines while campaigning. The wound was life-threatening and Bolsonaro lost 40% of his blood, but he has since undergone several operations to repair internal injuries since the assault.

The far-right leader joined an online ceremony Saturday to inaugurate a new branch of state-run lender Caixa Economica Federal in Brazil’s Northeastern state of Ceara, where he blamed the stabbing for his current condition.

“I’m doing OK, thank God,” Bolsonaro said. “This issue I’ve had earlier this week is due to the stabbing back in 2018.”

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro speaks to reporters as he leaves the hospital Sunday after recovering from an intestinal obstruction in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Caption
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro speaks to reporters as he leaves the hospital Sunday after recovering from an intestinal obstruction in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Credit: Nelson Antoine

Credit: Nelson Antoine

A day before his release from the hospital on Sunday, Dr. Antonio Macedo told journalists in an interview that Bolsonaro’s digestive system was working well and his condition was “really good”

While hospitalized, Bolsonaro was still able to handle government dispatches remotely and actively used social media to update Brazilians on his recovery.

Bolsonaro posted a video of himself walking in the halls of Sao Paulo’s Vila Nova Star hospital. He was transferred there Wednesday evening after seeking medical treatment in Brasilia with abdominal pain and persistent hiccups.

In another Saturday post, he shared a video showing his political rival, the former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, praising Cuba’s Fidel Castro as the island nation’s communist regime faces the largest street protests in decades.

The video, which was tagged to businessman Luciano Hang, one of Bolsonaro’s most vocal supporters, displayed images of Lula calling Fidel Castro a “myth” alongside headlines criticizing the communist regime on the island.

Bolsonaro urged people to “not give up on what is right” as the current generation is already paying a high price. “Imagine the ones to come,” he wrote.

Besides the president, Regional Development Minister Rogerio Marinho was also hospitalized late on Friday after falling ill during a family vacation. He underwent emergency surgery to fix an arterial obstruction and had already been discharged, Marinho said on his Twitter account.

Information provided by Tribune News Service was used to supplement this report.