Chennai: DMK president M Karunanidhi suffered serious decline in health condition on Monday with the Kauvery Hospital revealing that maintaining his vital organ functions “continues to be a challenge” and the next 24 hours could be critical.
The 94-year-old DMK patriarch has been in the hospital ICU since July 28 when he was rushed in late night following dip in blood pressure, which stabilised after medical intervention but subsequent setbacks saw the gladiator putting up tough fight.
“There has been a decline in the medical condition of DMK president and former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi. Maintaining his vital organ functions continues to remain a challenge considering his age related ailments,” said Kauvery's executive director Dr Aravindan Selvaraj in a bulletin released at 6.30 pm.
Stating that Karunanidhi “is on continuous monitoring and being treated with active medical support”, Dr Selvaraj added, rather ominously: “His response to the medical interventions over the next 24 hours will determine the prognosis”.
The entire family was at the hospital ICU through the day and most part of the night, except his wife Dayalu Ammal who was brought in wheelchair earlier in the day to Kauvery for a brief final goodbye. The 83-year-old frail woman might not have understood the heaviness in the ICU air, herself being down with Alzheimer.
DMK working president M.K.Stalin, an epitome of the doting son that he has been all these years, has been spending most of his time in the hospital-discussing treatment with the doctors and briefing the visiting dignitaries who included President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Union Ministers Nitish Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Suresh Prabhu and Pon Radhakrishnan, Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu and State ministers led by Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and Deputy CM Panneerselvam.
Sister Kanimozhi, Rajya Sabha Member, lent ample support to Stalin in the hospital. So did the rest of the family and the DMK seniors. Outside, the crowd of DMK cadres and Kalaignar fans kept swelling through the day, particularly after the statement made before the potent TV cameras by the state Congress president Su. Thirunavukarasar in the forenoon that his health condition had suffered a setback.
“Ezhunthu Vaa Thalaivaa” (Leader, Get Up, Come), they kept chanting, many with tears flowing down the cheeks. There were several women cadres who camped on the pavement outside the hospital for hours, through the night.
Karunanidhi was admitted to the hospital late night on July 28 following a dip in his blood pressure, which stabilised within a few hours following medical intervention. Doctors of different specialties combined their expertise with the best of medical technology, but the biggest help came from the stout patient himself as he refused to give up despite the heavy odds of failing organs, fever due infection and his advanced years.
Amid such seesaw fortunes, the hospital came out with a statement on July 31 saying an ‘extended period of hospitalisation’ would be necessary due to ‘age-related overall decline in his general health, altered liver function and haematological parameters’. Since then he continues to be monitored by a team of specialists.