John Paul II "Is Healthy," Says Physician

VATICAN CITY, MAY 9, 2001 ( John Paul II «is a healthy man,» says one his physicians who marvels as the octogenarian´s pace.

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At the end of the Pope´s busy, six-day pilgrimage around the Mediterranean, Dr. Pier Paolo Visentin, who is responsible for health emergencies in the Vatican, gave the following interview to the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera.

If the Pope should develop a physical problem, Visentin would be one of the first to be informed. He has been in charge of health emergencies in the Vatican state since 1981. He is one of the physicians who assists Renato Buzzonetti, the Pope´s «first doctor.»

–Q: At times, the Pope seemed tired during this trip. Are you worried?

–Visentin: No, not at all. I have been following him for 20 years and I have never seen him faint. He is as tired as any person of his age would be who is subjected to terrible physical and emotional stress.

–Q: Has he any illnesses?

–Visentin: If the Pope was sick, he could not endure such tiring public ceremonies.

–Q: But, you cannot deny his tremor.

–Visentin: The tremor is due to a neurological problem. As for the rest, he is a healthy man, who has never suffered serious illnesses.

–Q: What does it mean to be part of the medical team of such an outstanding figure?

–Visentin: We had no respite during the Jubilee. The Pope spared no efforts, he never missed an appointment. He slept few hours and was fresher than us.

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