South African anti-apartheid campaigner and veteran cleric Desmond Tutu has been admitted to hospital due to "inflammation", his daughter said on 18 August, the second time in a month the 83-year-old has needed medical treatment.
Tutu was released from hospital earlier this month after being treated for a recurring infection related to the prostate cancer he has been fighting for 18 years. Addressing the media in Cape Town at the Tutu Foundation, his daughter Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu explained that doctors had said her father was strong but that his age and medical condition would impact on his ability to bounce back from his current condition.
"His doctors assure us that he is strong but not young and so the series of treatments that he has had over the years have also had an impact on the elasticity of his body and his ability to come back from an illness," she said.
Tutu's daughter also said that the family was concerned about her father in hospital, but were not anxious or panicking. She said: "We are of course concerned, if we weren't concerned he would not be in hospital but that's concerned and not panicked and not anxious about his well being. My mom would much prefer to have him at home so that she can feed him with his favourite foods and cuddle up, but she's sort of making the trek back and forth to the hospital and spending time with him there."
Canon Tutu added that her mother was very worried about her father. "My mum is worried, they have been together 60 years – when your partner is ill you're not at your happiest."
Tutu's daughter went on to say that doctors had assured the family that he was still in good spirits and was expected to stay a few more days in hospital. Thousands of South Africans continued to send well wishes and pray for the "Arch" as he is commonly known in his native South Africa. Tutu, a Nobel peace laureate, retired from public life in 2010 but has kept speaking out in a wide range of issues, including corruption among South Africa's political elite.