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Nelson Mandela Dies

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More Recent Health Scares continued...

Just over a year later, at the end of February 2012, Mandela was again admitted to the hospital. This was a planned admission for an exploratory laparoscopy (in which a tiny camera is inserted into the abdomen) to try to determine the cause of a "longstanding abdominal complaint." 

This time there were frequent news updates about Mandela during his overnight stay. He was sent home after the doctors concluded "the diagnostic procedure he underwent did not indicate anything seriously wrong with him."

In December 2012 he again spent time in the hospital. Tests revealed a recurrence of a previous lung infection and the presence of gallstones. These are small stones, usually made of cholesterol, that form in the gallbladder. Mandela underwent a successful operation to have the gallstones removed. After more than 2 weeks he returned to his home in Johannesburg.

In late March/early April this year, the increasingly frail Mandela was back in the hospital for 10 days. He was diagnosed with pneumonia, an infection in the lungs, which can make it difficult for oxygen to reach the blood.

He was again admitted to the hospital in the early hours of June 8 when his condition was initially described, for the first time, as serious but stable. He was treated for a lung infection and left the hospital after 3 months.

From September until his death, he received medical treatment at home.

Legacy

Mandela retired from public life in June 2004 ahead of his 86th birthday, telling the world: "Don't call me. I'll call you." But he still campaigned for health and educational issues through the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

Although slow during his presidency to recognize the enormity of HIV on the people of South Africa, he made up for it afterward.

A number of AIDS charity concerts have been hosted in his honor, and he repeatedly urged people to seek testing and treatment. In 2005, in an attempt to destigmatize HIV and AIDS, he announced that his son, Makgatho, from his first wife, had died of AIDS.

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