Rajinikanth is fine, says his wife Latha

Chennai, May 19: In the wake of wild rumours and speculative reports about his health, Tamil superstar Rajinikanth's family and the hospital treating him today said he was "fine, doing well" and there was nothing to worry.

Latha Rajinikanth, wife of the 61-year-old actor, said he was comfortable and recovering well after being treated for problems relating to stomach and respiratory infection.

Dispelling the anxiety among thousands of fans, she said he was moved to Intensive Care Unit of the Sri Ramachandra Hospital here because it was a "protected place" and he was getting "complete protection in a sterile environment."

To a question as to what warranted his continuance in ICU, she said "Rajini has a normal human body. He is not a super human. He is down with infection." Appealing to the fans and well-wishers not to believe rumours about his health, Latha also asked them to respect their privacy. "Don't worry about his health and don't get scared by high-sounding medical terminology," she said.

"The media should not put out misleading reports...please help us, please give the family our privacy," she told reporters.

Latha said initially Rajinikanth had a stomach infection and later respiratory infection which caused some imbalance. Steps are being taken to restore the balance, she said. She ruled out moving Rajinikanth abroad for treatment.

Apparently referring to the anxiety among those involved in the making of his latest movie ''Rana'', she said the film will be on schedule. "Rana will be on schedule. It will go on schedule," she said.

In its latest medical bulletin, the hospital said Rajinikanth underwent hemodialysis and ultrafiltration.

"Rajnikanth fell ill with intestinal and gastrointestinal problems and was treated elsewhere initially and then admitted on May 13 to Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre, to have a thorough examination to assess the problems."

It said because of "various consequences there was fluid overload and it necessitated advanced treatment, ultrafiltration and some amount of hemodialysis."

The bulletin said the actor was responding well and "we are happy with the parameters before and after the procedures in intensive care unit."

"We strongly hope that he can return to the private room in a couple of days. In case of disease, symptom relief is the first sign of recovery. It is so here in this case.The laboratory parameters are improving which also indicates path of recovery.The interventions in this case is Hemodialysis and Ultrafiltration, which have helped him appreciably," it said. 

Rajini's doctor and a leading cardiologist Dr Thanikachalam told reporters that it was a gastro-intestinal problem that led to respiratory problem for which there is no single cause.

He said the actor had some fluid collection from lungs which had to be taken out. Seeking to play down reports that he was on dialysis, the doctor said "haemo-dialysis is not done only renal failure." "Rajini is a hale and hearty man. He came here on Friday. Before that he was elsewhere. For the next 48 to 72 hours we went through him thoroughly. He is fine...he took two idlis and a vada this morning," he said, adding he also had rasam made of banana stem for lunch.

"He is cheerful and he is fine...he cracked jokes in the morning. What else you want me to say as a doctor?" he asked.

Asked when Rajinikanth would be shifted out of the ICU, he said: "If possible tomorrow, otherwise day after." Rajinikant, who suffered from viral fever and exhaustion recently, was admitted to the Sri Ramachandra Hospital on May 13 days after he was discharged from another hospital where he had been treated for allergic bronchitis and viral fever.


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