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Jan 16, 2008

Musician Andy Palacio hospitalized following collapse

Story PictureIn 2007 Belizeans swelled with pride as musician Andy Palacio was internationally recognized for his album Watina which skyrocketed to the top of the European Music Charts and earned him a World Music Award. Then in October, UNESCO named Palacio an Artist for Peace. But tonight friends, family and fans of Andy Palacio are wishing him well as this morning the star collapsed in Belmopan. And as News Five’s Janelle Chanona reports, while Andy is awake, he’s not out of the woods yet.

Janelle Chanona, Reporting
This morning a disorientated but conscious Andy Palacio was rushed by ambulance from Belmopan to the Belize Diagnostic Centre in Belize City where he immediately underwent a cat scan.

Yasser Musa, President, NICH
“Well for the past few days he’s been complaining that he has problem with his speech and slurring in his speech and he feels weak and things like that.”

According to President of the National Institute of Culture and History Yasser Musa, initially doctors suspected Palacio had had a stroke but the cat scan and a subsequent M.R.I. have ruled that possibility out. Tonight neurologist Joel Cervantes is managing Palacio’s case and over the next seventy-two hours, will administer a series of tests to determine exactly what is affecting the musician.

Yasser Musa
“Andy is a very important person to us. I’m very nervous right now because when I got the call it was very alarming and so we are all hoping and praying for him and I know all of Belize is wishing him a speedy recovery, whatever it is that he has.”

In 2007, Andy Palacio was named UNESCO’s artist for peace and was also jointly honoured with producer Ivan Duran with the Womex Award at the World Music Expo for his best selling album WATINA.

Yasser Musa
“Obviously he has had a very rigorous last year, a great 2007. He has done the country a great service and he has done Belize proud and that’s why we are all so very concerned right now. He’s our music hero, our legend. And we will do everything on our part especially from the NICH standpoint to make sure he gets the attention that he deserves.”

Following his tests at the Belize Diagnostic Centre today, Palacio was transferred to Universal Health Services. Assisting Dr. Cervantes is internist Dr. Jorge Hildago. Reporting for News Five, I am Janelle Chanona.

Late this evening, we were informed that Andy has been able to communicate with his doctors but he is also complaining of a numbness and pain in his left foot which, we are told, is another sign of a serious neurological problem.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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