TORONTO - Mayor Rob Ford remains in hospital as doctors investigate an abdominal tumour discovered Wednesday.
The health scare comes in the midst of Ford’s battle to win the Oct. 27 election and just months after he returned to the city from a stint in rehab for alcohol and drugs.
It also comes eight years after the mayor’s father, Doug Ford Sr., died of colon cancer.
A weary-looking Doug Ford — the mayor’s brother — spoke to reporters about the mayor’s health at a hastily-called news conference at Humber River Hospital on Wednesday night.
“It saddens me that I have to be here,” said Doug Ford, the mayor’s campaign manager. “Rob’s in good spirits and we just want to thank the well-wishers and all the calls that are coming in.”
Ford had breakfast with his brother on Wednesday morning at Perkins restaurant in Etobicoke.
“He had stomach pain,” Ford said. “He said his stomach was bothering him.”
The mayor saw a doctor who sent him to the hospital, he said.
According to the hospital, doctors found the tumour and the mayor was admitted “for further investigation and to obtain a definitive diagnosis.”
Doug Ford wouldn’t discuss the election on Wednesday night.
“We’ll speak about that (Thursday),” he said. “Could I just ask the press just to give our family a day or so?
“If you could just leave us alone that would be great for the next couple of days then we’ll inform you about what’s going on,” he added later.
Humber River broke the news of Ford’s hospitalization after 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
Dr. Rueben Devlin, the hospital’s CEO, confirmed the tumour is in the mayor’s abdomen and is being investigated further. It isn’t clear if the tumour is benign or malignant.
“We need to determine exactly what type of tumour it is and then we can decide on what treatment is required,” Devlin said. “We hope to do a lot of that investigation this week.”
Devlin added it wasn’t a “small” tumour.
“But the size is not as relevant as what it is,” he said. “What we really need is a biopsy to be able to look at exactly what tumour it is and also to investigate if the tumour is anywhere else.”
The mayor was having “left, lower quadrant abdominal pain,” Devlin said.
“It has been going on for greater than three months but (Wednesday) it became unbearable for him,” he said.
In August 2012, Ford was treated at the same hospital for throat and stomach problems.
Ford was also in hospital in February 2011 for a procedure to break a kidney stone.
As a councillor, he was admitted to hospital in July 2009 for “excruciating pain” and consequently underwent emergency surgery to remove a tumour on his appendix.
Rob Ford was at Tuesday night’s mayoral debate but wasn’t seen at City Hall at all on Wednesday.
During the debate, Ford appeared in good spirits and promised the crowd he’d not only win this election but go on to win another two additional terms in the mayor’s chair.
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