Health of wife of Indonesia's former President Yudhoyono worsens

Mrs Yudhoyono recently posted a photo of herself in a wheelchair outside the hospital ward.
Mrs Yudhoyono recently posted a photo of herself in a wheelchair outside the hospital ward.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM

JAKARTA - The health of the wife of Indonesia's former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono took a turn for the worse on Wednesday (May 29).

Mrs Ani Yudhoyono, 66, is in the intensive care unit at the National University Hospital (NUH) in Singapore, said her son Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono on Thursday.

He said his mother has been seeking treatment for leukaemia at the hospital since February this year.

"For now, Ibu Ani is in need of extra care," Mr Agus said. "The entire Yudhoyono family is now concentrating our efforts on restoring Ibu Ani's health condition."

Mr Agus said his mother, whose maiden name is Kristiani Herrawati, is being treated in a special quarantine room at NUH to avoid viral and bacterial infection, which could potentially interfere with her recovery.

"In the last one-third of the glorious and blessed holy month of Ramadan, the Yudhoyono family requests for the willingness of the Indonesian people to pray that Ibu Ani's health condition will stabilise, continue to improve and (she) be able to continue in her recovery process," he added.

Mrs Yudhoyono, a pillar of strength by her husband's side during his presidency from 2004 to 2014, had been documenting her struggle with the illness on Instagram, where she has 6.4 million followers.

Two weeks ago, she posted a photo of herself in a wheelchair with her husband outside the hospital ward with the caption: "lhamdulillah, after three months of not breathing fresh air, today I was permitted by the doctor to leave the room to see the green leaves, blue sky and have some fresh air even if it was only for one to two hours.

She has also received many visitors and well wishers, including President Joko Widodo who visited her in Singapore in February.

In March, she received a note from former United States President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush, whom she referred to as her "dear friends".

Last month, three days before Indonesia held its presidential and legislative elections, Mrs Yudhoyono cast her ballot from her hospital bed as an oversea voter.

"Today is April 14, 2019, I exercised my right to vote while in Singapore," she posted on Instagram.

"Even though I'm undergoing treatment in hospital, I participated in the election for a better future for Indonesia."