Brazil ex-first lady no longer has brain function

AP News
Posted: Feb 02, 2017 9:57 AM
Brazil ex-first lady no longer has brain function

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Doctors and ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Thursday that Brazil's former first lady no longer has brain function and they are preparing to donate her organs.

Marisa Leticia Lula da Silva, 66, had been hospitalized in Sao Paulo since Jan. 24 after suffering a stroke.

A statement from her doctor on Thursday said that she remained hospitalized and tests revealed a lack of cerebral fluid in the brain. The statement said he hospital was preparing to donate her organs, but did not say when she might be removed from life support. A hospital spokeswoman said no other information was being released at the moment.

Silva, president between 2003 and 2010, posted a note on Twitter thanking people for their support.

"The family has authorized the preparation to donate her organs," Silva wrote.

Both Silva and his wife, still highly popular, became entangled in corruption investigations that have roiled Brazil the last few years.

In September, Marisa Leticia Lula da Silva was charged with corruption in one case along with her husband. The couple and several others were accused of benefiting from renovations at a beachfront apartment in the coastal city of Guaruja in Sao Paulo state. The couple denied doing anything wrong.

Former President Dilma Rousseff, who succeeded Silva in 2011 and was removed from office last year after a bitter impeachment fight, said "today is a sad day for all of us."

"Marisa was the anchor of the family, the base from which (Silva) was allowed to dedicate his body and soul to building a different Brazil," Rousseff wrote in a statement.

The couple married in 1974 after both had become widowed from their first spouses. They have four children together.