Updated: November 17, 2016 4:42:11 am
EXTERNAL AFFAIRS Minister Sushma Swaraj has often used her official Twitter account to address personal grievances of individuals from India and across the world, symbolising Indian diplomacy’s soft power and reach. On Wednesday, she used that account to post a personal message of her own — that she was undergoing tests for a kidney transplant.
“Friends: This is to update you on my health,” Swaraj, 64, posted.
“I am in AIIMS because of kidney failure. Presently, I am on dialysis. I am undergoing tests for a Kidney transplant. Lord Krishna will bless,” she wrote.
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The two tweets from the senior BJP leader drew a swell of support from a cross-section of people, including politicians across party lines.
AIIMS spokesperson Dr Amit Gupta described Swaraj’s decision to reveal “her health status herself in first person” as “a first” and said that the Minister was “being investigated as per her tweet and continues to be in good and stable medical condition”.
“I pray for speedy recovery of my cabinet colleague Smt. @SushmaSwaraj Ji, & wish her good health,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar posted on Twitter.
“Sushma Ji we are with you in this difficult time. Hope you get better very soon,” said a tweet on the official account of the office of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
The others who extended support included Congress leader Ambika Soni, National Conference’s Omar Abdullah, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Union Ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Jayant Sinha, and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
“Very sorry to hear about your health problems @SushmaSwaraj ji. My father went through the same so I know how you & the family must feel,” Abdullah tweeted.
“Some leaders hide their disease fearing that this may lessen their grip on the family and the party. Those who live with simplicity and integrity in public life are not afraid of going to the public. Her life is like an open book. I greet her for her open stand,” said JD-U’s K C Tyagi.
AIIMS sources said the donor for the renal transplant is likely to be finalised within a week and that Swaraj would continue to undergo dialysis.
Sources said that the Union Minister was undergoing treatment under a team of four senior doctors: Dr Sandip Mahajan, head, department of nephrology; Dr Nikhil Tandon, head, department of endocrinology and metabolism; Dr Randeep Guleria, head, department of pulmonary medicine and sleep disorder; and, Dr Balram Airan, chief, cardio-thoracic centre, AIIMS.
Swaraj had been a diabetes patient for long — it is now under control — and was admitted in AIIMS for three weeks on April 25. At the time, she was treated for fever and chest congestion, with features of pneumonia, at a private ward in the cardio-neurosciences centre of AIIMS.
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