Pelé's Family: COVID Is Behind Hospitalization

They say soccer great is not dying
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2022 12:43 AM CST
Updated Dec 5, 2022 5:37 AM CST
Pelé's Family: He's Not Dying
Brazilian Pele attends the 2018 soccer World Cup draw at the Kremlin in Moscow, Dec. 1, 2017.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

The family of Brazilian soccer great Pelé says the three-time World Cup winner is not in imminent danger of dying, the AP reports. "He is sick, he is old. But at the moment, he is there because of the lung infection. And once he feels better, he will go home again," his daughter, Kely Nascimento, told TV Globo. "He is not saying goodbye in a hospital at the moment." Her sister, Flavia Nascimento, added, "He is not in intensive care, he is in a regular bedroom. He is not in risk, he is in treatment." They say COVID-19 aggravated the respiratory infection that is being treated. The hospital earlier said Pelé was responding well to treatment, ESPN reports.

Pelé is also undergoing chemotherapy in his ongoing fight against colon cancer; he had a tumor removed from his colon in September of last year and is not yet in remission. But while local media have reported the chemotherapy is not working and have claimed Pelé is on palliative care, his family says that's not true. "It is very unfair for people to say he is in the end of his life, in palliative care. Guys, that's not true. Believe us," Flavia Nascimento said. His grandson, Arthur Arantes do Nascimento, adds that he has been discussing World Cup matches during his phone calls with his grandfather. "I see people telling me ‘rest in peace’ (for Pelé). One day it will happen, but it is not today," he says. "He is going to be well, it is a matter of time. He will see Brazil lift the sixth title." (Read more soccer stories.)

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