CASTRIES, St. Lucia (CMC):
Prime Minister Sir John Compton had suffered "a series of strokes" prior to his departure for the United States for medical treatment, acting Prime Minister Stephenson King said in a national broadcast on Monday night.
In the first official confirmation that Sir John, 82, was ill, King said that medical tests in the United States showed that he had also suffered another stroke since leaving St. Lucia.
"These tests were done at the same hospital that he has used for the same purpose during the last 10 years," King said during the eight-minute radio and television broadcast.
But he told the nation that Sir John's condition had stabilised even though he had suffered some physical impairment that would require him to undergo rehabilitative physiotherapy.
"He is in good spirits and is repeatedly expressing his desire to return home, and ask that all St. Lucians rally together for the sake of the nation at this challenging time."
Contact with his wife
King said that he had been in touch with Sir John's wife, who has been in consultation with the doctors treating the ailing prime minister, so as to determine the earliest possible time for his release from hospital.
"I have been in contact with Lady Compton, my only official contact on a daily basis throughout this difficult period and together with other members of the Cabinet have remained contact with her several times with each passing day.
"Now that Sir John's precise medical situation has been determined and with the agreement of the Lady Compton, the Cabinet last Friday authorised Deputy Political Leader of the United Workers Party and Minister for Social Transformation, Leonard 'Spider' Montoute, to travel to New York to provide Lady Compton and her family with what ever support that is required as they make arrangements for Sir John's return home."