Madam Sirleaf Recovering After Major Surgery – Praises Liberian Medical Doctors, others

Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says she has undergone a major surgery and she is fast recovering. In appreciation of the first-line medical services she received in Liberia before her referral abroad to undergo extensive treatment, Madam Sirleaf is praising the team of Liberian medical professionals who she said were instrumental in keeping her stabilized before leaving for the US for her landmark surgery. “I am also extending my deep appreciation to Liberians at home and in the Diaspora for their uplifting messages and prayers,” Madam Sirleaf said.

In a special statement issued by the former President on Friday, May 27, 2022, entitled “Statement From Our Former President,” Madam Sirleaf provided her medical history and the treatment she underwent as well as her current state of health.

“I have considered myself healthy, swimming one hour almost every day. Then came the unexpected death of my oldest son, causing some decline in efforts which followed not doing regular checks during the period of Covid 19.

“Then I began to feel aches in my shoulder and attributed that to the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. I called Dr. Kpoto who ordered X-rays for arthritis…shoulders, knees and hands. I brought this to the attention of Dr. Nicole Cooper from Wellness Clinic, my primary doctor, who restated Dr. Kpoto’s requirement for x-rays, scan and MRI at Jahmale Diagnostic Center. The findings were discussed with my son, and agreed symptoms and radiographic findings were consistent with rheumatoid arthritis.” part of the statement said.

Mrs. Sirleaf who said she received service from several local therapists, intimated that after the services, she continued her usual activities but experienced a decline in her health status after the Women Summit she attended in Lilongwe, Malawi. She then jetted off to the United States for the meeting of the High-level Advisory Board of the UN Secretary General’s Common Agenda and the promotion of the “Malaria No More” project, including the replenishment of the Global Fund, all aimed at efforts to end Malaria.

“After those meetings I was having painful joints and travelled to Atlanta, Georgia to Dr. El Amin who operated pro bono on my wrist several years ago. He is one of those who joined the Heart program organized by my son Dr. James Adamah Sirleaf who brought pro bono US Doctors to Liberia for a wide range of medical services.

“He treated the pain and ordered an MRI of the neck which led to a successful operation in Columbus, Ga where my son lives. The process took two weeks and I am now in the process of full rehab and recovery at his home.”

Meanwhile, in a telephone conversation with The Analyst’s Managing Editor, Stanley Seakor, Madam Sirleaf praised the medical team that worked with her locally before leaving for further medical attention abroad.

Mrs. Sirleaf, being apparently cognizant of the Liberian society’s penchant for believing in every story posted or written on the Internet and sometimes in print publications, clarified that she decided to issue the statement on her recovery to serve two purposes, the first being “to address the usual kind of misinformation”, asserting that people often come up with wide statements that are truly false, thus urging people to stop engaging in those falsehoods.

She said that the second reason for her statement was to debunk the insinuation that influential Liberians normally seek medical attention abroad because they can afford the attached costs, neglecting making use of the local health facilities, despite the fact that there are also good medical professionals in Liberia that are up to the task.

“My second reason was to give credit to a lot of Liberian medical doctors because leading to the place where I am recovering people will be saying things like ‘oh look, yor people there, yor  just go abroad when yor want this. I want people to know that I value the service I got from Liberian doctors; from the diagnosis centers, you know and I put names there so people could know that I value our doctors.

“I got people from the US, I got some doctors from the US. Yes they did a good deal of work too. But let us value our own at the same time we value others. And all of them were involved in this process. You know I did a lot of injury to myself. You know, going on ahead of time all the time, doing this work, that work, but you know, I didn’t listen to my  own son all the time, because when I work like that I don’t normally pay attention”, Mrs. Sirleaf said. 

The first democratically elected female President of Liberia said she was grateful to God for the strong doctors she has and whose disciplines and directives she has been able to follow so as not fall in “big trouble” that could lead to relapse of the health challenge.

Madam Sirleaf said she was not in a hurry to return home as she is going to take some rest and keep calm for a few more weeks as well as meeting up with some other important appointments.

“I will take a few more weeks to calm, rest and meet up with some important appointments and will return home. And my work will continue. In the meanwhile, the EJS Presidential Center has been going on anyway, and they have been consulting with me when they needed me”, she concluded.

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