Article by Marc Aupiais
Pope Benedict XVI (Formerly: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger; Pope since April 2005), has fallen in the bath, thus hurting ('breaking' / 'fracturing') his wrist. The pope is expected to wear a cast for a while, after a successful surgery in a nearby town. Vatican Spokesperson: Father Federico Lombardi, has downplayed the incident, noting that the fall happened on Friday morning.
The pontiff was on holiday in Les Combes, Valle d'Aosta in Northern Italy, in the Italian Alps: nearby the border with France. The pontiff was staying in the same chalet as previous stays in the area: overlooking the famous Mont Blanc peak- the highest in the Alps. He had spent a number of other 'vacations' as pope, in this chalet. Pope John Paul II, also enjoyed the area, when he was alive. Benedict XVI, was staying in the in the same chalet (belonging to the Salesian Order), as the Late John Paul II, used when on Vacation in the area. Benedict XVI, vacationed in 2005 and 2006, in the alps also.
His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI: is reported to have eaten breakfast, and said mass, before being taken off to hospital in the nearby town of Aosta (to Umberto Parini hospital). He is said to have walked into the hospital, with an aid accompanying him, having arrived via motor vehicle. According to hospital spokesman: Tiziano Trevisan, an x-ray of the 82 year old pontiff, found a small fracture in the Pope's wrist. The Pope was being kept for observation. According to the BBC: the Vatican is calling the incident minor.
The hospital concerned, has successfully performed a twenty (20) minute surgery on the pontiff, under local anesthetic. He is expected to have a cast over his arm for about a month. The pope, who enjoys playing the piano, will likely not be able to gain pleasure from music via playing the piano this holiday, as he has reportedly previously done while on vacation.
Benedict XVI, has generally had good health, despite his age. He had planned a vacation, with plans for 'some work' during it. It is expected, that he will keep to his schedule, including appearances, especially his Sunday Angelus, despite the interruptions to his holiday, which were, and will be brought about by his injury.
The Pope arrived in the Italian Alps on Monday July 13, and is due to finish his vacation on Wednesday, July 29.
According to V.I.S. [Vatican Information Service]:
"POPE SUCCESSFULLY OPERATED FOR WRIST FRACTURE
VATICAN CITY, 17 JUL 2009 (VIS) - This morning Benedict XVI underwent surgery at the Umberto Parini hospital in the Italian town of Aosta for a fracture to his right wrist. He had suffered a fall last night in his chalet at Les Combes in Valle d'Aosta where he is spending a brief holiday.
The Holy Father arrived at the hospital at 9:45 a.m. this morning. "Even so", declared Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi, "he celebrated Mass and had breakfast early this morning".
Later the Pope "underwent an operation to realign the fractured fragments and fasten them through osteosynthesis, using a local anaesthetic then applying a cast. The Holy Father's general condition is good" added the Pope's doctor Patrizio Polisca, specifying that "the Pope will return shortly to his residence".
OP/FALL HOLY FATHER/LOMBARDIVIS 090717 (120)"
(V.I.S. [Vatican Information Service] 17 / 07 | July / 2009)