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PM hopes for full recovery

Published: 
Friday, July 13, 2018
McDonald diagnosed with kidney failure
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In this March 2018 photograph, then President Anthony Carmona, right, presents Public Administration minister Marlene McDonald with her instruments of appointment during a swearing-in ceremony at the Office of the President. It was McDonald’s third ministerial posting in the government's term. Photo by:Nicole Drayton

Public Administration Minister Marlene McDonald has been diagnosed with renal/kidney failure.

The Port-of-Spain South MP has been hospitalised since Saturday. A statement from the Ministry of Communications indicated McDonald was being treated for an “existing medical condition.”

It’s the second time she has been taken to hospital in the last month. While it was initially thought she was battling pneumonia, a concerned source close to McDonald disclosed the true nature of her illness, saying she is in renal failure and now requires dialysis two to three days a week.

Guardian Media Ltd also understands that McDonald’s prognosis is complicated by her diabetic condition and she will need time to rest and recover.

Kidney failure occurs when your kidneys lose the ability to filter waste from your blood sufficiently and is accompanied by a number of risks, including anaemia, high blood pressure, increased risk of infection, fluid overload among others.

Calls to McDonald’s phone went directly to voicemail.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley appointed Senator Allyson West as McDonald’s temporary replacement at the Public Administration Ministry. He said this was done “given the nature of her hospitalisation and her ability to function in the assignment she is carrying.”

At the post-Cabinet news conference, Rowley did not divulge details about her health but he wished McDonald a “speedy recovery and a complete one.”

He also responded to conflicting information put out yesterday by the Port-of-Spain South constituency office, suggesting that McDonald had been discharged from the hospital. It contradicted a statement from the Communications Ministry which stated McDonald was still hospitalised.

“We cannot speak for any other than the Government’s communication that it made to the population,” Rowley said.

“The statements made by the Government would be based on information the Government has, which may be different from the information other people have.”

McDonald still remains at the St Clair Medical Hospital under medical care.

It now means two ministers from the Public Administration Ministry are facing serious challenges with their health and are now on sick leave.

Minister in that ministry Maxie Cuffie has been away from duty since last year after suffering a stroke. It is expected he will return to the country from the United States at the end of July.

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