The 94-year-old former president of South Africa is on the mend after being admitted to the hospital for the third time in fourth months earlier this week after a recurrence of a lung infection that hospitalized the Nobel prize winning in December. "After the revered 94-year-old statesman and former South African president spent a third night in hospital, the presidency said doctors had drained excess fluid from his lungs to tackle the infection," Reuters reports.
The South African Presidency released a statement Saturday saying Mandela was treated for pneumonia and had a build up of fluids, known as a pleural effusion, drained from his chest. He's now able to "breathe without difficulty," the statement said, which is reassuring. "He continues to respond to treatment and is comfortable," the statement added.
People were worried when Mandela was admitted to the hospital earlier this week. Obviously, people should worry any time a 94-year-old is hospitalized, but Mandela is regarded as a hero and a symbol of racial equality in his home country. Back in December, Mandela spent 18 days in the hospital because of a recurrence of a previous lung infection. The former South African leader has suffered from lung problems that originated during his time working in a prison quarry.
It's unclear right now if or when Mandela could be discharged from the hospital, but some are taking this latest news as a sign for optimism. "They have appeared to indicate that the recurrence of the lung infection afflicting Mandela is being successfully treated," Reuters writes.