An update from his daughter indicates the family is sticking close to the 82-year-old, who is staying at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo. They will celebrate Christmas at his bedside.
“We, as always, thank you for all the love you show us here in Brazil as well as around the world!” Kely Nascimento said on Instagram. “Your love for him and your stories and prayers are a HUGE comfort because we know we are not alone.”
Despite the grave message, the family promised to make what could be Pele’s final Christmas memorable.
“We are going to turn this room into a Sambódromo (just kidding), we will even make caipirinhas (not kidding!!).”
UPDATE: A message from Pele indicates he is staying “calm and positive” in the wake of reports he’s in the end-stages of life. Pete said watching Brazil at the World Cup and messages of support have given him “energy.”
His hospital issued a statement saying he is “stable” and still getting treatment, but did not specify what that entailed.
“My friends, I want to keep everyone calm and positive,” Pele said in a statement on Instagram.
“I’m strong, with a lot of hope and I follow my treatment as usual. I want to thank the entire medical and nursing team for all the care I have received.
“I have a lot of faith in God and every message of love I receive from you all over the world keeps me full of energy. And watching Brazil in the World Cup too!
“Thank you so much for everything.”
EARLIER: Brazilian soccer superstar Pele (real name Edson Arantes do Nascimento) has entered a palliative care unit at a Brazilian hospital, according to reports.
The 82-year-old “Black Pearl” led Brazil to three World Cup championships in 1958, 1962, and 1970, and finished his career with the New York Cosmos. In the 1958 World Cup, he scored two goals in the championship game against Sweden.
Pele is being treated for colon cancer and also has a respiratory infection. He was hospitalized Tuesday for what was described as “a reassessment of chemotherapy treatment.”
The cancer was detected last year, according to a statement from the Sao Paulo Hospital, the Folha de Sao Paulo reported.
Despite his grave condition, Pele earlier told his 2.8 million Twitter followers that he was was feeling good after a career tribute in Qatar, which is currently hosting the World Cup.
“Friends, I’m in the hospital doing my monthly visit,” he posted on Twitter. “It’s always good to receive positive messages like this. Thanks to Qatar for this tribute, and to everyone who has been sending me good vibes!”
Pele is regarded by many as the greatest soccer player of all-time. He scored 643 goals in 659 official matches for the Brazilian club Santos. He scored 77 times in 92 games for his country’s national team.
Palliative care is usually used to make a patient with an incurable disease as comfortable as possible.
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