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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Raisa Gorbachev's Condition Worsens




Raisa Gorbachev's condition has worsened considerably, and she has been put into an artificial coma to help her fight off complications associated with acute leukemia, the Gorbachev Foundation said Thursday.


The wife of Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, has been undergoing treatment in the University Hospital in M?nster, Germany, since late July.


Although the first session of chemotherapy was considered relatively successful, subsequent treatment has been slowed down by side effects from the chemotherapy and an unidentified infection.


On Sunday, Raisa Gorbachev's condition worsened. Her blood pressure dropped, and her heart rate soared to about 130 beats per minute, said Vladimir Polyakov, the spokesman for the foundation.


Doctors used medication to put Gorbachev, 67, into a so-called artificial coma Sunday, and she remained on a respirator in an intensive care unit Thursday, Polyakov said.


She also was put on dialysis because of kidney problems, he said.


Her blood pressure and heart rate have stabilized, but a high temperature associated with the infection has remained a problem, the spokesman said.


However, Polyakov said doctors were continuing very light chemotherapy in order not to lose the achievements of the first session conducted in August.


Mikhail Gorbachev has remained by his wife's bedside most of the time.


"In the past few days, he has been coming back to his hotel at 2 a.m. only to leave early in the morning," Polyakov said. "It is officially described as his going back for some rest, but I don't think there has been much rest for him."


Gorbachev, visibly tired and worried, appeared on NTV television Thursday night.


"All these complications in her intestines led to a situation where the leukemia is picking up again and is strangling her whole body," he said. "Speaking honestly, it is very difficult for me to watch my wife struggling."


Raisa Gorbachev's current condition puts on hold any decisions regarding a bone-marrow transplant. Transplant material donated by her younger sister, Lyudmila Titarenko, is considered almost a perfect match.


The bone marrow was taken from her sister, who traveled to the German hospital, and it is being stored at the hospital in the event doctors decide to go ahead with a transplant.


Titarenko recently returned to Russia to face another personal tragedy - her husband, Damir Ayukasov, died in Ufa, Bashkortostan, from injuries suffered in a recent fall.