x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Sarkozy given clean bill of health

The French president is released from hospital after he collapsed yesterday while jogging at the Château of Versailles.

A smiling French President Nicolas Sarkozy left a Paris military hospital today after overnight tests gave him a clean bill of health despite his collapse while jogging the day before. Mr Sarkozy left the Val de Grace hospital hand in hand with his supermodel wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, then shook the hands of medical staff and waved to journalists before getting into his official car and being driven off. Separately, his office issued an official statement confirming that doctors had found no sign of heart or neurological trouble and had diagnosed him as having suffered minor episode of faintness caused by fatigue.

Upon his collapse on Sunday, Mr Sarkozy was rushed by helicopter to a military hospital. His office denied the president had lost consciousness in the episode. The Elysee Palace statement followed reports from members of Mr Sarkozy's government and his chief of staff, who had indicated that Mr Sarkozy had lost consciousness. "Today, late in the morning, while he was jogging in the park at the Château of Versailles, the president of the republic felt unwell. This episode, which came after 45 minutes of intense physical activity, was not accompanied by a loss of consciousness," the palace statement said yesterday.

Mr Sarkozy, an avid jogger and cyclist, was forced to interrupt his run and "lie down with the help of an aide", the statement said. A presidential doctor who is with Mr Sarkozy at all times sounded the alert and administered initial treatment. Doctors at the Val de Grace military hospital conducted neurological, blood and cardiological tests as well as an EEG, an electroencephalogram. Mr Sarkozy, ever mindful of his image, received close advisers on Sunday to keep up on the news and was resting, the statement said.

"He's doing well. He's hungry. He's grousing, so everything's OK," Patrick Balkany, a close friend and deputy mayor of the Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret told RTL radio. Mr Balkany said Mr Sarkozy was on a diet and doing too much. The French health minister Roselyne Bachelot said Mr Sarkozy had suffered a "small" vasovagal episode. A vagal episode can be caused by strenuous exercise when it is very hot. It can lead to a temporary loss of consciousness but usually is not serious.

* AP