ISLAMABAD: A medical board of doctors has decided to keep Kulsoom Nawaz, wife of ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, on ventilator for an indefinite period in a hospital in London.
“A five-member board of doctors has decided not to take Kulsoom Nawaz off the ventilator and the Sharif family has also agreed to it,” Sen. Mushahidullah Khan, who is regularly in touch with the Sharif family in London, told Arab News.
He said the doctors have given no specific timeline to remove the life support as they have been making all possible efforts to restore Kulsoom Nawaz’s consciousness.
The doctors at the Harley Street Clinic on Monday held a detailed meeting with the Sharif family including Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, and Shehbaz Sharif and informed them about Kulsoom Nawaz’s health.
Talking to reporters after the doctors’ briefing, Kulsoom’s son Hussain Nawaz said: “I have nothing more to say. I would just request the whole nation to pray for her speedy recovery. The ventilator will remain for indefinite period. Doctors are not removing it.”
The former first lady was admitted to the hospital on Thursday where she suffered a cardiac arrest. She has been unconscious and on the life support since then.
Isaac Asher, a senior doctor at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad, said that a patient is put on ventilator only when in critical condition and is physically unable to breathe.
“Doctors keep reviewing the condition of the patient regularly and remove the life support once the patient improves,” he told Arab News. “Clinically, patients may remain ventilated for years as long as they develop no other complications.”
The mechanical ventilation to a patient is not a treatment of any disease. Rather it helps a patient to keep alive for the treatment, said Asher.
The former premier’s wife was diagnosed with lymphoma — a cancer of the lymph nodes — in August last year. She has since undergone several sessions of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Initially she showed signs of improvement but as of late her condition has deteriorated.
The 68-year-old Kulsoom Nawaz was elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan for the first time in by-polls held in September last year. She filled the seat that fell vacant after her husband, Nawaz Sharif, was disqualified by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case.
All national leaders, including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, have wished Kulsoom well and prayed for her early recovery.
“PTI chairman Imran Khan, our senior leadership and members are praying for the wellness of Kulsoom Nawaz and we hope she will recover soon,” Fawad Chaudhry, secretary information PTI, told Arab News.