Nelson Mandela: His 5 Surprising Health Conditions

Nelson Mandela, the legendary South African former president, politician and activist, is back in the hospital in “serious but stable” condition, after once again suffering from an unspecified lung infection.

Unfortunately, this is not the only time the world leader, 94, has suffered from serious health problems over the years.

1985: Prostate Cancer

Mandela had surgery in 1985 for an enlarged prostate gland, and in 2001, he received treatment for prostate cancer.

1988: Tuburculosis

While imprisoned under South Africa’s apartheid regime, Mandela suffered from early stage tuberculosis in 1988. After having fluid drained from his chest, he spent six weeks recuperating.

1994: Eye Damage

Mandela’s tear ducts were damaged by years of being forced to smash limestone rocks in the quarry on Robben Island, due to the alkalinity of the stone.

He had cataract surgery aged 75 in 1994, shortly after becoming president of South Africa, and press photographers were asked to turn off camera flashes when photographing him.

2012: Stomach Pain

In February 2012, Mandela underwent a minor exploratory laparoscopy procedure to investigate persistent abdominal pain.

2011-Present Day: Lung Infection

In January 2011, at 92, he spent two days in the hospital with an acute respiratory infection. The following year, in December 2012, Mandela underwent nearly three weeks of treatment for his lung infection, as well as gallstone surgery.

Mandela returned to the hospital again on March 27, 2013 for 10 days of treatment for pneumonia when doctors drained a build-up of fluid from his chest, known as a pleural effusion.

Most recently, he was readmitted to the hospital with a renewed lung infection.

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