SAO PAULO – The wife of Brazilian former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva remains in a medically induced coma after an aneurysm in her brain ruptured, a friend of the family said on Wednesday.
Marisa Leticia Rocco, 66, was taken on Tuesday to the emergency room at Sao Paulo’s Hospital Sirio Libanes.
Rocco’s condition “is delicate,” former Sen. Eduardo Suplicy told reporters after visiting Lula at the hospital.
Dr. Roberto Kalil Filho, who led the team that oversaw Lula’s treatment for throat cancer, told reporters Tuesday that physicians performed a catheterization to contain the bleeding in Rocco’s brain.
He said doctors discovered the aneurysm a decade ago, but did not operate then because the situation did not warrant surgery.
On Wednesday, physicians carried out a CAT scan of Rocco’s brain, the hospital said in a bulletin.
“Lula is worried and he said that we need to give her support and, mainly, to pray for her, because when there is a case such as this in the brain, it can be a long time before one can live normally again,” Suplicy said.
Even so, the former president continues to hope that his wife will make a quick recovery, Suplicy said.
Rocco “has always been a fundamental pillar” for Lula, the former senator said.
The couple met in 1973, after each had been widowed, and they wed seven months later.
Rocco, who was Brazil’s first lady between 2003 and 2011, faces charges along with her husband for allegedly accepting bribes and favors from construction giant Odebrecht, one of the companies implicated in a $2 billion scandal centered on state oil company Petrobras.
Despite his legal issues, the still-popular Lula has suggested more than once that he may be a candidate in Brazil’s 2018 presidential election.