FATAL ILLNESS

APRIL 29 2007 11:44h

Chronology of Ivica Racan’s Illness

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The public learnt of Racan’s illness at the end of January. From then on the media carefully followed his struggle with the disease.

Ivica Racan, Croatia’s former prime minister and until recently president of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), died last night after a short and serious illness. 

At the end of January, Racan informed the public that he was suffering from a tumour in his right shoulder.

On February 4, accompanied by his wife Dijana Plestina, he left for Munich for treatment in the Bogenhaus clinic.

After a biopsy on February 5, doctors there established that the tumour was deeper than had been thought at first.

On February 8 the SDP said that the tumour in his shoulder was a metastasis and that the primary tumour was probably in his kidney.

On February 12, Racan was operated on to remove the left kidney, the urethra and lymph nodes. Four days later he underwent another four-hour long surgery to remove the metastasis from his right shoulder.

On February 22, the SDP president was given a final diagnosis according to which he was suffering from cancer of the kidneys and the treatment with “Sutent” was announced.

On March 10 Racan returned to Zagreb from Munich where the first phase of treatment was carried out.

Two weeks upon his return, on March 24, he was transferred to Zagreb’s Rebro hospital where he underwent Gama-Knife treatment of the metastasis in his head.

The next day a haematoma in his right shoulder was removed at the site of the previous surgery.

The Zagreb hospital team decided to keep him in hospital for at least a week.

On Wednesday afternoon on April 4, the SDP issued a statement saying that Ivica Racan’s health had deteriorated during the day. The tests showed that there were new metastases in his brain.

The next day the party said that Racan’s health had improved and the treatment was carried out according to plan.

On Monday, April 9, the SDP said Racan’s condition was stable and after two days, the radiation of his right shoulder was to continue, adding that he would undergo intensive treatment in the hospital.

Ivica Racan’s health rapidly deteriorated on April 12 and entered the critical phase despite the undertaken measures of intensive treatment. The SDP said that evening that Racan was in a state of narrowed consciousness with occasional consciousness.

Despite the intensive treatment measures, Ivica Racan’s health did not improve, the SDP said on April 13, adding that he had spent the night peacefully. The party’s afternoon statement says that Ivica Racan was still critical and because of the general state of his organism and changed medication, he had fallen unconscious and was not communicating since April 12.

The doctors team then established that the uncontrolled growth of the tumour had led to serious pains in the right shoulder and head and it was necessary to apply high doses of medication to relieve the pain. His vital functions were maintained and the necessary treatment measures were carried out, with further prognoses depending on the general state of his organism and the speed of growth of the tumour.

One of the doctors team’s heads, Dr. Mirando Mrsic, on June 21 informed of Racan’s health, stating that despite the improvement and slowing down the growth of the tumour, his health was still very serious because of the general state of the organism and the possibility of occurrences of new metastases.

Ivica Racan died on April 29.