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Economy minister tells why he’s in hospital again after heart attack last year

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 — Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli disclosed his health condition today that has landed him in hospital again five months after suffering a heart attack last October.

In a lengthy post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, the 46-year-old said his latest bout of hospitalisation is due a slipped disc, caused by pressure on his backbone.

He said his heart attack and overall health took a turn for the worst due to his long term issues with high cholesterol that required him to undergo an operation at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre here last year, to open up his clogged arteries.

In late January, he said he caught Covid-19 for the first time and was hospitalised; during that time, the weight on his back caused a slipped disc.

“I couldn't bear the pain and was on a wheelchair. An MRI revealed I had stenosis,” he said.

Stenosis, which means narrowing, can cause pressure on the spinal cord or the nerves that connect the spinal cord to the muscles.

Spinal stenosis can happen in any part of your spine, but is most common in the lower back.

Rafizi said the compression from the slipped disc was pinching his nerves from the front and back of his spine, causing the artery to thin due to prolonged pressure.

He said the procedure he underwent cut a part of the ligament and slipped disc to give space for the affected nerve.

He added that the operation went well.

“I can now walk well thanks to the experts at Universiti Putra Malaysia Medical Centre. I will be back at the office in March and to the fans of YBM, I will be back on the airwaves soon,” he said, using the initials to refer to the podcast he hosts on his YouTube channel titled Yang Bakar Menteri.

At the time of writing, it has some 47,000 followers,

Various local news outlets reported Rafizi’s hospitalisation last year for a heart illness, but details were sparse then.