(JAMAICA STAR) – Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips, who has been diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer, said the decision was made to rush his recent operation because of the COVID-19 crisis.
Phillips, 70, underwent an operation two weeks ago, but it was only yesterday that he told the country the extent of his illness.
He said that the problem was discovered a few weeks ago during his annual medical examination.
“We rushed all of this because we weren’t certain how the COVID situation was going to turn out,” said Phillips.
The People’s National Party (PNP) president said the surgery was successful and “I am on the road to recovery”.
The PNP, in a statement yesterday, said evaluations completed on Monday by professor Terrence Forrester and consultant surgeon Dr Mark Newnham, said that Phillips’ cancer is curable. The party said that the medical and surgical teams are optimistic of complete remission based on the worldwide experience of managing this stage.
“Dr Phillips will need further preventative treatment in the form of chemotherapy over the next few months, as an out patient, as he continues his public duties,” the PNP said.
Meanwhile, the PNP president said that he has been moved by the expressions of goodwill and love that have been sent to him by “thousands and thousands” of people.
“I want to say thank you very much for your prayers, your good thoughts and the good wishes that have helped me to come through this difficult time. There is a lot of work to be done and I am here to do it,” Phillips said.
He will remain on leave of absence from the job of Opposition Leader for the next two weeks.