Karunanidhi dies at 94

  • 1

Chennai, Aug 7: Muthuvel Karunanidhi, a five-time chief minister of Tamil Nadu and the DMK president for 50 years, died in Kauvery Hospital here at 6.10pm on Tuesday. He was 94.
“With deep anguish we announce the demise of our beloved Kalaignar Dr M Karunanidhi at 6.10pm on August 7, 2018. Despite the best possible efforts by our team of doctors and nurses to resuscitate him, he failed to respond. We profoundly mourn the loss of one of the tallest leaders of India and we share the grief of family members and fellow Tamilians worldwide,” Kauvery Hospital executive director Dr Aravindan Selvaraj said in a release.
The Tamil Nadu government announced a public holiday on Wednesday. The state will observe a seven-day mourning as a mark of respect for the former chief minister.
A champion of Tamil, the man who wrote books, novels and dialogues for plays and movies, was an astute political leader who never lost an election in a career spanning six decades.
Karunanidhi, who was suffering from a urinary tract infection and other age-related ailments, was admitted to the intensive care unit of Kauvery Hospital in the early hours of July 28 after his blood pressure dropped. Although his BP was stabilised within two hours, he continued to be in the intensive care unit.
On July 29, the hospital said the DMK chief suffered a ‘transient’ setback but was rallied back to normal. For the next one week, Karunanidhi’s health condition had remained stable with the hospital on July 31 saying he had responded well to treatment.
However, his health condition declined on Monday. A medical bulletin issued by Kauvery Hospital executive director Dr Aravindan Selvaraj on Monday evening said, “Maintaining his organ functions continues to remain a challenge considering his age-related ailments. He is on continuous monitoring and being treated with active medical support. His response to the medical interventions over the next 24 hours will determine the prognosis.”
Healthy lifestyle
Doctors said Karunanidhi had been following a healthy lifestyle, which included rising early, doing yoga, walking and eating simple food. He was admitted to hospital only a couple of times until 2016. He underwent a spinal surgery in 2009 for treatment of severe back and leg pain.
In December 2016, Karunanidhi underwent a tracheostomy, a procedure to create a space in the windpipe to optimise breathing. Doctors said the procedure helped him overcome breathing difficulties caused by a throat and lung infection. In addition, he had undergone percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, a flexible tube put through the abdominal wall into the stomach.
The tubes allowed nutrition, fluids and medications to be put directly into the stomach. For over a year, Karunanidhi rarely left home and visitors were limited.
On July 19, he was admitted to Kauvery Hospital to change the tracheotomy tube. By 4pm the same day, he was discharged.