Brazilian great Pele said on Thursday that he is not seriously ill, easing fears that his health deteriorated while being treated for a urinary tract infection. The 74-year-old via his official Twitter account, @Pele to deny widespread reports that said his condition worsened and he was put in intensive care.
“I want to take this opportunity to let you know that I am doing fine, I was not put into intensive care, I was simply relocated to a special room within the hospital for privacy purposes only,” he said.
Pele successfully underwent surgery to remove kidney stones on 13 November, but he was readmitted to the hospital on Monday after being diagnosed with the urinary tract infection. The three-time World Cup winner has been hospitalised since then.
“I am blessed to receive your love and support, and thank God this is nothing serious,” he said. “I am looking forward to spending the upcoming holidays with my family, and will start the new year with renewed health, with many international trips already planned! Thank you!”
Pele’s manager, Paul Kemsley had already said that the former player was expected to make a “quick and full” recovery from the “minor” infection caused by the kidney stones surgery.
Kemsley said in a statement sent to The Associated Press that reports about the deterioration of Pele’s condition and about him going into intensive care “were greatly exaggerated.”
“He was relocated to a special area of the hospital for privacy purposes only, due to having an overwhelming number of visitors which prevented him from getting the necessary care and treatment,” he said. “He is expected to make a quick and full recovery.”
The Albert Einstein hospital released a statement that Pele was transferred to a “special care” unit after his condition became unstable. The statement created a scare in Brazil, with local media widely reporting that Pele’s condition had worsened.
The hospital later released another statement saying that Pele’s condition “improved,” but for the first time mentioned that he was in “an intensive care unit” and temporarily undergoing kidney support treatment.
“Trips to Australia, China, Nigeria and Azerbaijan are already confirmed for the early part of 2015.”