ABS-TV has announced that former Prime Minister Lester Brid underwent a lower-leg amputation today, April 20, and is now recovering from surgery.
The news took the Nation by surprise, since it appeared not to be widely known that Sir Lester was ill. However, State media reports say that he was hospitalized earlier in March for an infected toe, and that today’s amputation took place on his doctor’s advice.
Former Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer was also shocked by the revelation. Taking a little time to recover, Spencer tells REAL News he is saddened to learn of Bird’s challenge, and he wishes Sir Lester a safe recovery and return to good health.
He notes that the loss of a limb would be difficult for anyone to handle; but it must be “particularly difficult for a former athlete – one of national renown – to have to deal with something like this.”
Spencer is referring to Sir Lester’s glory days as a sportsman, in particular his record as a long-jumper at the University of Michigan.
Sir Lester represented the St. John’s Rural East constituency for his entire political career, and the seat will be contested by his nephew, Sean Bird, on the United Progressive Party’s ticket in the next elections.
“I am aware that, over the past few years, he has had some health challenges,” Sean says of Sir Lester. “In these, the sunset years of his life, I am sure the many well-wishers and the goodwill that is being extended are well received,” he says.
Interestingly, former Premier George Walter, in his later years, also lost a leg, reportedly to diabetes.