Pope Francis has been steadily recovering from the scheduled intestinal surgery he underwent on July 4. The Vatican has not yet provided a date for his release from the Rome hospital where his surgery was performed. His stay has now been extended for a few more days.
The Vatican said Tuesday that Pope Francis would leave the Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic, where he is recovering, “as soon as possible.”
In its daily medical update, the Vatican did not provide a date for the pope’s discharge. The statement said that the pope is continuing his planned course of treatment and rehabilitation.
The Vatican had originally said Pope Francis would likely be kept in the hospital for a week but has since said he would stay in the hospital for a few more days, thus extending his treatment there.
In its statement Tuesday, the Vatican said that among the many patients that Pope Francis has met during these days, he offered special thoughts to those who are bedridden and cannot go home. “May they live this time as an opportunity, even if experienced in pain, to open themselves with tenderness to their sick brother or sister in the next bed, with whom they share the same human frailty,” the statement said.
The 84-year-old pontiff was admitted to the hospital on July 4 for what the Vatican said was a planned surgery on his colon needed to treat a form of diverticulitis. The operation is said to have removed half of the pope’s colon.
Following the surgery, the Vatican said the pope was recovering well, had gotten out of bed, was walking, greeting other patients and hospital staff and was working. Although he briefly ran a brief fever last week, the Vatican said all scans and tests were normal.
On Sunday Pope Francis appeared in good form when he appeared to the public for the first time since his surgery to deliver his weekly address from the balcony of the 10th floor of the hospital.
The pontiff said that during his days at the hospital he experienced the importance of having a good health system that is accessible to everyone, such as the one that exists in Italy and in other countries. The pope made a call for free health care for all.