A recuperating Mandela’s takes a grave dive into a worse state worse than his previous as he is only being sustained by a life-support system.
“He’s basically gone,” said Charlene Smith, an authorized biographer of the former anti-apartheid leader. “He’s not there. He’s not there.”
A younger person put on mechanical ventilation — life support — can be weaned off the machine and recover, but that it can be difficult or impossible for an older person. The longer a person is on ventilation the less the chance of recovery, said the chief executive of the Faculty of Consulting Physicians of South Africa.
“It indicates a very poor prognosis for recovery because it means that he’s either too weak or too sick to breathe on his own,” said Dr. Adri Kok, who has no connection to Mandela’s care. “Usually if a person does need that, any person, not keeping in mind his age at all, for any person it would be indicative of a grave illness.”