Setback in DMDK leader Vijayakanth’s health in the last 24 hours, informs hospital

The 71-year-old actor-turned-politician was admitted in the hospital on 18 November, following symptoms of fever, throat pain, and cold.

ByVinodh Arulappan

Published Nov 29, 2023 | 8:19 PMUpdated Nov 29, 2023 | 11:36 PM

Setback in DMDK leader Vijayakanth’s health in the last 24 hours, informs hospital

Doctors treating veteran actor-politician and founder of Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) Vijayakanth have said that the senior politician’s health condition has mildly deteriorated over the last 24 hours.

In a statement by the Managing Director of MIOT International on Wednesday, 29 November, it said that Vijayakanth’s health condition was showing great improvement.

“However, over the last 24 hours, he showed mild deterioration requiring a small amount of pulmonary support. We continue to be confident that he will make a full recovery. Possible length of stay in hospital is a further 14 days,” read the hospital’s statement.

Tracheostomy procedure

Medical bulletin from MIOT hospital. (Sourced)

Medical bulletin from MIOT hospital. (Sourced)

According to hospital sources, the actor developed a breathing issue during his admission and he was put on ventilator support whenever needed, during the treatment.

When asked about the kind of treatment, the sources told South First that the doctors have planned for a tracheostomy surgical procedure, as the actor’s upper airway is blocked and air cannot get into the lungs.

“The patient already has a glottic pathologic condition and due to his age and the face that we are unable to provide him a full-time ventilator, his family members have consented to a tracheostomy procedure,” the source said.

The 71-year-old actor-turned-politician was admitted at the hospital in Manapakkam, Chennai, on 18 November, following symptoms of fever, throat pain, and cold.

During the admission, the party statement said that Vijayakanth, fondly called “Captain”, was taken to the hospital for a routine check-up and is likely to return home in a day or two.

However, a few media outlets said that Vijayakanth was on ventilator support. Dismissing the news as a rumour, the party statement asked the caders and the public not to believe it and said that he would return home in a day or two.

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Prayers pour in

Following the medical bulletin, the DMDK cadres gathered in front of the hospital. However, the DMDK high command instructed the functionaries not to visit the ailing leader, citing infections and privacy.

Meanwhile, sources told South First that Health Minister Ma Subramanian spoke to the management at MIOT International and the treating doctors and enquired about Vijayakanth’s health. The minister also spoke to the family members and assured any help that was needed.

Paatali Makkal Katchi (PMK) leader Anbumani Ramadoss wished the DMDK leader a speedy recovery.

Taking to X, the PMK president said that he wants Vijayakanth to return with full health and carry out regular public works.

BJP State President K Annamalai, taking to X, also said that he was deeply saddened to hear the news that Captain Vijayakanth had been admitted in the hospital for further treatment and wished for his speedy recovery.

Further, actors and producers from the Tamil film industry also wished the DMDK leader a speedy recovery.

Meanwhile, Vijayakanth’s wife Premalatha, in a video message posted on the politician’s X handle, stated that there is no need to panic or fear regarding the medical bulletin issued by the hospital.

“The doctors and other medical staff are taking care of his health perfectly,” she said.

She further stated that “the prayers of the people and goodness he did will save ‘Captain’. He will recover and will return home soon and will meet the cadres soon,” she stated.

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First actor to become Opposition Leader

Vijayakanth, who had a strong fan base, floated the DMDK in September 2005 in Madurai and contested the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls for the first time in 2006. Though the party won only a single seat, it gained an 8.38 percentage vote share in the election. Vijayakanth was elected as MLA from the Virudhachalam constituency.

In the next election, the actor-turned-politician had an election alliance with the AIADMK and won 21 seats. Vijayakanth became the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly.

Known for his fiery speeches, Vijayakanth faced a setback in the following elections after a direct clash with former chief minister late J Jayalalithaa. In the meantime, his health deteriorated and his public appearances reduced. Following this, the party started to lose out on its vote bank.

As an actor, Vijayakanth has acted in a number of films, including superhits like Pulan Visaranai (1990), Uzhavan Magan (1987), Chinna Gounder (1992), Senthoora Poove (1988), Vaidehi Kathirunthal (1984), Amman Kovil Kizhakale (1986), Vaanathaippola (2000), and Captain Prabhakaran (1991), the movie that earned him the moniker “Captain”.