Paraguay: Former president Lugo in induced coma after stroke

BUENOS AIRES (AP) — Former Paraguayan president and current senator Fernando Lugo was in a medically induced coma Wednesday after suffering a stroke. Doctors said his condition was stable with no evidence of significant lesions though they warned it was too early to tell the extent of the damage given his previous health woes.

“He is stable now and the primary lesion we see is a lesion that allows us to be a little bit optimistic,” said Dr. Jorge Querey, who like Lugo is a senator for the leftist Frente Guasu coalition.

Lugo, 71, was transferred to a different hospital for further tests.

The former president appears to have ignored minor symptoms possibly related to a stroke he experienced earlier in the day. He then suffered a convulsion while in his Senate office, Querey said, describing it as “what people normally know as an epileptic attack.”

Lugo, a former Catholic bishop, was president from 2008 to 2012, when he was impeached by the Senate. He remains the only elected left-leaning president in Paraguay’s recent history.

“The lesion is relatively small,” Querey said. “If we don’t find anything extraordinary outside of what we’ve already found, it could be manageable.”

The former president will remain in a medically induced coma for at least 12 to 24 hours.

Querey, who is overseeing much of the former president’s care, said the consequences could be “minimal” while warning “he is a chronic patient” due to his previous ailments.

Lugo, who was diagnosed with lymphoma while president, was taking drugs for hypertension and to improve his circulation. He received treatment for his cancer in Brazil and doctors said his lymphoma had been in complete remission.

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