Doctor: Pope Francis Living With One Lung 'A Big Deal'

Thursday, 22 May 2014 04:20 PM

By Courtney Coren

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The health of Pope Francis is becoming a growing concern as he is set to begin his tour of the Holy Land, and Dr. Peter Hibberd says that the fact that the pontiff lives with only one fully functioning lung is "a big deal."

"This Pope doesn't really want to tell us how his health is," Hibberd told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV. "Look at the schedule the man sets up for himself — it's rigorous even for any of us with two healthy lungs to do this kind of a trip and to look at some of the trips he's done before."

The pontiff had most of one lung removed when he was boy in Argentina by surgeons due to an infection he developed before antibiotics were widely available.

"I wasn't aware that he just had one lung until recently myself, and that's a big deal," Hibberd added.

Story continues below video.

Francis: Pope’s Hidden Life Revealed.

Speculation about the Pope's health has arisen from Vatican insiders. He has canceled several recent appointments citing health reasons, such as fatigue, a fever, and a cold.

Newsmax's Vatican correspondent, Edward Pentin, said on "America's Forum" that the "Vatican official line is that he's fine, but if you look back at the past several months, the Holy Father has been missing quite a few engagements."

According to Pentin, Pope Francis has "got 15 discourses that he's going to give during this visit."

"People are beginning to wonder whether he's taking too much on," he added. "He may be fine health wise, but whether it's starting to put pressure on him, and he's starting to become very fatigued, and his immune system is perhaps diminished because of that."

The concern at the Pope's age of 77 is if "these various light illnesses like colds and things . . .  develop into something more serious at someone his age."

Pope Francis also had some serious health problems about a decade ago with his heart when he was still living in Buenos Aires, and he was told by his doctors that he may need heart surgery. Instead, the pontiff opted for treatment via alternative medicine.

"At that time, he got in touch with a Chinese doctor who helped him with some alternative therapies and managed to get him much better and helped him, not only with his heart, but also with his liver and other ailments which he had," Pentin said.

According to Hibberd, as lungs start to weaken "as we get older," it takes a toll on the heart.

"When two lungs start to stress out, the heart goes into failure," the emergency room doctor explained. "Now, what happens when you have one lung? Does this happen earlier?"

Francis: Pope’s Hidden Life Revealed.

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