Pope Francis, 86, leaves hospital after breathing difficulties health scare & jokes 'I'm still alive' | The Sun

POPE Francis left the hospital today after he was admitted with breathing difficulties and joked that he was "still alive".

The Roman Catholic leader, 86, was seen leaving Rome's Gemelli hospital after a three-night stay for a bronchitis infection.

The Pope got out of the car transporting him and smiled and joked with the crowd, before heading off to the Vatican to begin preparations for the most important week in the Christian calendar.

He was seen waving to wellwishers before telling reporters: "I wasn't frightened, I'm still alive."

The Pope was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday and prescribed a few days’ rest for a respiratory infection said to not be Covid.

He has responded well to an infusion of antibiotics, his medical team has said.

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Despite concerns about whether he would be well enough to attend services for the upcoming Holy Week and Easter, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni confirmed that Francis was expected to take part in this weekend's service for Palm Sunday.

The dean of the college of cardinals, Giovanni Battista Re, has said a cardinal would help the pope during the week's celebrations and take care of altar duties.

The Pope has had several health problems in the past.

He had part of his lung removed when he was younger due to a respiratory infection.

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Because of this, it is known that he often speaks in a whisper.

In 2021 he had intestinal surgery, as his large intestine had narrowed.

He had the left part of his bowel removed as part of the procedure.

He has suffered from a long-term knee condition, which has affected his mobility.

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