Brazilian great Pelé had COVID-19 before going to hospital

Pele had COVID-19 and a lower than normal heart rate before he was hospitalized last Tuesday, his daughters have confirmed.

The 82-year-old tested positive for COVID-19 on November 17 and was treated with medication to control pain and fever, but COVID was one of the first reasons he was taken to hospital, sources told ESPN.

“About three weeks ago he caught Covid,” Kely Nascimento told Brazilian television. “He is vaccinated, with all the vaccines, but because of the cancer drugs, the chemotherapy, which is fragile, he got a lung infection. That’s why he went to the hospital, because of the pulmonary infection.

“It’s serious because of his age and because he’s being treated for cancer.”

Flavia Nascimento said: “In the hospital he is better assisted. But he is not in intensive care, he is in a normal room. So he is not at risk. As a person with good health more delicate, it is better that he is in the hospital. It is very unfair to start saying that he is terminally ill, with palliative care. That’s not it. Believe us. More than anyone, we don’t want that moment to come. it’s going to happen, but it’s not now, you don’t need to be in that alarm anticipating a situation that doesn’t exist now.”

The soccer legend, who is battling colon cancer, was admitted to Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo with a respiratory infection and remains in stable condition, according to a statement released on Saturday.

Before that, he was being treated for metastatic cancer at his home in Guaruja, on the coast of Sao Paulo. In the days leading up to his hospitalization, Pele had breathing problems and tests carried out on Wednesday determined that he had bronchopneumonia.

Pele’s heartbeat was also diagnosed with bradyarrhythmia, an abnormality that causes the heart to work at a lower rate than is considered normal, the sources added.

Albert Einstein Hospital said on Friday that Pele was receiving antibiotics to treat an infection at the same time as he was undergoing chemotherapy for the cancer.

On Sunday, the sixth day of Pelé’s hospitalization, Albert Einstein Hospital did not issue a new statement on his condition.

Pelé, had a colon tumor removed in September 2021, helped Brazil win the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cups and remains the team’s all-time top scorer with 77 goals in 92 appearances.

Information from ESPN Brazil was used in this story.

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