Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/14/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

New pope had one lung removed while still young

Pope Francis, the new pope, only has one lung. One of his lungs was removed at the age of 20 on account of illness. This condition is not believed to hinder any of his duties of the church, medical authorities believe, as long as he takes steps from contracting pneumonia.

The new pope hasn't limited his exposure to the infirm. Before Easter in 1999, the future Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 AIDS patients in a local hospital.

The new pope hasn't limited his exposure to the infirm. Before Easter in 1999, the future Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 AIDS patients in a local hospital.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/14/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Francis I, tuberculosis, lung removal, pneumonia, infirm


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Blair Marshall, chief of thoracic surgery at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington says that the only threat the 76-year-old pontiff might face is from pneumonia.

The amount of lung function at birth well exceeds what the average person needs, Marshall says. Recent scientific reports suggest the lung is able to partially regenerate when it's damaged at an early age. Marshall says that the new pope's lung issue shouldn't restrict his travel schedule or his ability to perform the high- stress role of leading the church.

"He's had several decades to adjust to this and his other lung has taken over," Marshall said in a telephone interview. "He's been functioning well for decades and should have no limitations. The only risk would be if he gets pneumonia."

Lung infections today are almost never treated with surgery. In the mid-1950s, however, doctors didn't have widespread access to antibiotics that are available now, and thus removing the lung was often the best option.

There has been no specific reason given for the pope's partial lung removal. The young Jorge Mario Bergoglio may have had tuberculosis or necrotizing pneumonia, where a bacterium destroys the lung tissue, Marshall said.

In some cases, a chronic illness may trigger so much inflammation that antibiotics traveling through the bloodstream can't reach the site of the infection.

A pulmonologist and co-director of the Cleveland Clinic Asthma Center in Ohio Sumita Khatri says that the damaged portion may be removed to stop the disease from spreading.

"This must have been a very difficult infection and he wasn't responding to treatment," she said in a telephone interview. "He was young and I expect rather healthy. It seems like by removing this infection, anything that could have become a chronic problem may very well have been cured and poses no risk to him now."

The fact that only part of a lung was taken out, rather than the entire organ as earlier reports suggested, is even more reassuring, Khatri said.

Losing just a portion of one lung shouldn't carry any restrictions. "A whole lot of people get a portion of their lung removed and do just fine," she said. "His experience for the past 50 years more than tells us that he has lung enough for the job."

The new pope hasn't limited his exposure to the infirm. Before Easter in 1999, Bergoglio washed the feet of 12 AIDS patients in a local hospital. The next year he washed the feet of 12 prison inmates. He has done the same thing every year since, with members of different social groupings.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Health

Forget the Fountain of Youth: New research discovers ibuprofen's potential to add 12 years to the human life Watch

Image of New research supports ibuprofen's potential to expand the human life up to 12 years.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When people get older, people get sick. What if we could figure out why this cycle occurs, and find ways to intervene with the process? Perhaps, we can then find ways to extend the human health span. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Buck Institute for Research ... continue reading


Global life expectancy up six years from 24 years ago Watch

Image of Death rates from some major chronic conditions were on the rise, including liver cancer caused by hepatitis C, which is up 125 percent since 1990.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

People, on average are living a few years longer than they did in 1990. According to a new study, the average global citizen lives to be 71.5 in 2013, which is up from 65.3 in 1990. Global life expectancy rose by 5.8 years in men and 6.6 years in women between ... continue reading


New plague panic? New strains of malaria appear immune to current treatment Watch

Image of Mass drug treatments have been tried before with varying success.

By Astrid Zweynert, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Ka Lar Nar caught malaria for the sixth time when he was working away from home on his small farm in the jungle of southeastern Myanmar but this time it was a lot harder to get rid of it. MIN SAW, Myanmar (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - After testing positive for ... continue reading


Growing the Church in China

Image of

By John Smagula

The world's best teas are grown in China, but many of these teas are unknown in the United States. Remote tea farms in exotic locations produce teas that rarely reach the American teacup. Of the 1.75 million tons of tea that China produces each year, less than 2% is ... continue reading


Superbugs strike again: 10 million expected to die annually by 2050 Watch

Image of Drug resistant infections, like E. coli, are expected to resist more antibiotics, making infection prevention impossible.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Drug resistant infections currently cause 700,000 deaths worldwide each year. If something is not done to adamantly fight against antimicrobial resistance, a new study professes that number will grow. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Antimicrobial resistance will ... continue reading


If they can't heave health care than neither should you! The hidden agenda behind Obamacare! Watch

Image of President Obama's Affordable Care Act has failed utterly and completely. It has done nothing but harm the United States and its citizens through direct action and ignorance.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When President Obama undertook his extensive campaign to pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA) one of his chief promises was that individuals were guaranteed the right to keep their current physicians, another was that the ACA would allow those on the new health ... continue reading


Explorer Christopher Columbus did not bring 'STD's' back to Europe Watch

Image of Christopher Columbus has a lot to answer for -- but according to some scientists, bringing syphilis from the new world to the old was not one of them.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus had a lot to answer for - but bringing back syphilis from the new world to Europe was not one of them. A skeleton excavated from a grave in Croatia has disproven this theory, suggesting that the sexually transmitted disease ... continue reading


GOOD NEWS: HIV's ability to cause AIDS weakening worldwide, study finds Watch

Image of Some 35 million people currently have HIV and AIDS has killed around 40 million people since it began spreading 30 years ago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Just in time for World AIDS Day, December 1st. comes some most encouraging news: The world has finally reached "the beginning of the end" of the AIDS pandemic, a leading campaign group claimed today. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to a study of ... continue reading


Fountain of Youth discovered at last? Revolutionary wrinkle cream heralded Watch

Image of Created by Professor Chris Toumazou, Regius Professor at Imperial College London, among his many other accomplishments invented the cochlear ear implant, the artificial pancreas for Type 1 diabetics and the wireless heart monitor.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Emollients, moisturizers and facial scrubs are typically used by consumers to keep unsightly wrinkles off the face. Many forego aging gracefully and strive to maintain a youthful face well past middle age. Now, a brand new "wrinkle cream" which uses the client's ... continue reading


How the Obama administration just sued itself over Obamacare enforcement Watch

Image of Obamacare may be intended to have a disruptive impact on medical care, leaving the government as the only agency which can resolve the problems it has itself created.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Obama may face added backlash against his signature healthcare plan as leading CEOs are challenging Obama's "workplace wellness" programs. Although Obamacare has largely been popular with big businesses in the US, its interference with business practices are proving ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Samuel 1:24-28
24 When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, ... Read More

Psalm, First Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8
1 Hannah then prayed as follows: My heart exults in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:46-56
46 And Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Chaeromon
December 22: Bishop of Nilopolis, in Egypt. When the persecution was ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter