Brazilian football legend Pele ‘has been moved to palliative care’ in hospital and is ‘no longer responding to chemotherapy’ in his fight against bowel cancer.
Reports in Brazil said the 82-year-old, who went into the hospital last week, is receiving measures to relieve pain in an ‘end-of-life palliative care’ ward.
Football fans on social media called for prayers to be said for Pele upon hearing the news.
He was admitted to the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Tuesday suffering from ‘general swelling’ and ‘heart failure’.
An update on Thursday said the three-time World Cup winner was in a ‘stable’ condition in the hospital with his daughter Kely insisting there was ‘no cause for alarm’.
However, a report by Folha de Sao Paulo on Saturday, said Pele isn’t responding any longer to the chemotherapy treatment he has been undergoing since last September to treat his bowel cancer.
They said he is now in palliative care and won’t be subjected to invasive tests or treatment. Palliative care is for patients with potentially life-threatening diseases or conditions and end-of-life care.
Pele – whose full name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento – is regarded by many as the greatest footballer of all time.
He won three World Cups with Brazil in 1958, 1962 and 1970, and scored 643 goals in 659 official matches for the Brazilian club Santos. He scored 77 times in 92 games for his country’s national team.
Football legend Pele, 82, has reportedly been moved into ‘palliative care’ in hospital
Pele is one of the greatest footballers of all time and won three World Cups with Brazil
Brazilian football legend Pele, 82, was admitted to hospital last Tuesday and reports in Brazil on Saturday said he had been moved to a ‘palliative care’ ward
Pele’s wife and carer took him to the hospital earlier this week amid concern about his health
The former striker received tributes in Qatar after being admitted to the hospital on Tuesday
On Friday, the Albert Einstein Hospital released a statement saying Pele had been diagnosed with a ‘respiratory infection’ that was being treated with antibiotics.
The update said the former player is expected to remain in hospital for continued treatment in the coming days but said his condition was ‘stable’.
In a post on Pele’s Instagram account on Friday, he responded to a ‘Get well soon’ message that was projected onto a building in Qatar, where the World Cup is taking place.
He wrote: ‘Friends, I am at the hospital making my monthly visit. It’s always nice to receive positive messages like this. Thanks to Qatar for this tribute, and to everyone who sends me good vibes.’
What is palliative care?
Pele has been moved to palliative care in the hospital, according to reports in Brazil.
The aim of such treatment is to prevent and relieve suffering for those patients who are facing life-threatening illness.
Also known as ‘end of life care’, it is for people believed to be in the last months or years of their lives and also provides support to their families.
The NHS website says: ‘If you have an illness that cannot be cured, palliative care makes you as comfortable as possible by managing your pain and other distressing symptoms.
It also involves psychological, social and spiritual support for you and your family or carers.
Palliative care is available when you first learn you have a life-limiting (terminal) illness. You may be able to receive palliative care while you are still receiving other therapies to treat your conditions.
‘End of life care is a form of palliative care you receive when you’re close to the end of life.’
Pele recorded a video for Instagram on his 82nd birthday back on October 23 and accompanied it with the message: ‘On my birthday, I just want to express my gratitude. Life is good. Turning 82 with my family, in good health, is the best gift. Thank you for everything I have received.’
The Thursday update from the hospital had said Pele was in a ‘stable condition’ and ‘in full control of vital functions’ having not been admitted to an Intensive Care United [ICU].
A statement issued to the Brazilian media said: ‘After medical evaluation, the patient was taken to a common room, without the need for hospitalization in a semi-intensive unit or ICU.
The former player is in full control of vital functions and [in a] stable clinical condition.’
The hospital confirmed Pele had been taken into hospital ‘for a reassessment of the chemotherapy treatment of the colon tumor identified in September 2021.’
Concerned fans around the world said their thoughts and prayers were with the legend
There is no time frame on Pele’s hospital stay, and his wife Marcia Aoki and carer are by his bedside.
However, Pele’s daughter Kely Nascimento, who is not in Brazil, insisted on Tuesday that there was no need for alarm and that her father’s hospital admission was ‘no surprise or emergency’.
She posted on Instagram: ‘Lots of alarm in the media today concerning my father’s health. He is in the hospital regulating medication.
‘There is no emergency or new dire prediction. I will be there for New Year’s and promise to post some pictures.’
Pele’s daughter Kelly Nascimento insisted there was no need for alarm in a social media post
Pele was hospitalized for six days last year and underwent surgery to remove a tumor in his colon. The Globo news site in Brazil said Pele was undergoing routine examinations in Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein Hospital when the undisclosed issue was detected.
It came as Brazil fans unfurled a ‘Get well soon Pele’ banner ahead of their final World Cup group match against Cameroon on Friday night.
There were also heartfelt tributes from the Brazil camp ahead of the game.
‘We found out the news on Wednesday,’ coach Tite said ahead of the Cameroon game.
He is possibly one of the biggest representatives of Brazil. We wish him good health. That’s the feeling of all of us from the Brazil squad. We are wishing Pele all the best.’
Brazil fans unfurled a large banner saying ‘Get well soon Pele’ ahead of their game in Qatar
Brazil lost 1-0 to Cameroon in their final group stage fixture of the World Cup on Friday night
Tite and his Brazil squad sent national hero Pele a message of support on Thursday
Pele has been battling bowel cancer since he was diagnosed with a tumor in his large intestine at the end of August 2021. He was undergoing routine examinations which were delayed a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Four days later, he underwent surgery at the Albert Einstein hospital to remove the tumor and was taken into an ICU unit several times because of respiratory issues.
He started a course of chemotherapy shortly afterwards and in December 2021, was taken back into the hospital for more cancer-fighting treatment. He was discharged just before Christmas.
Pele went back to the hospital for another course of chemotherapy in February, joking on social media that ‘hopefully there’s popcorn to watch the Super Bowl soon’.
When doctors discovered a urinary tract infection, his stay in the hospital was extended, but Pele was discharged on February 28.
The octogenarian has also struggled with his mobility in recent years after three hip operations.