ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The personal physician of Leader of the Opposition Lester Bird has declared that his patient is fit enough to continue in public office.
Bird, 73, collapsed on Monday, the third such public display in recent times, raising questions about his health and suitability for elected office.
But Dr Joseph “Joey” John sought to dispel concerns, saying the former prime minister and current Member of Parliament for St John’s Rural East is in good health.
“He’s in quite good shape. The instances where he’s had these syncopedic episodes – or near syncopedic episodes, because I don’t think he ever had a real syncopedic episode – this time was clearly due to dehydration,” Dr John said.
“I know of one instance in the past when it was due to his blood sugar dropping too low, and that was when he’d had the medication for the diabetes and had gone to a function and had not eaten in time and the medication dropped the sugar too low … But in none of the instances was it due to anything more serious than that,” Dr John told OBSERVER.
Bird upstaged the funeral service for the late Florence “Edie” Labadie on Monday. Signs that the political leader was feeling unwell came as he was moved to a seat near a window.
People gathered around him, fanning him, and a constant stream of concerned persons went over to enquire about Bird’s condition.
Those who remained in their seats as tributes were paid to the deceased twisted and strained their necks to see what was happening.
The former prime minister was finally wheeled out of the church and transported, by ambulance, to Dr John’s private clinic.
The physician, yesterday, also indicated that Bird is recovering well after back surgery about one year ago, to correct a prolapsed disc.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)