Susilo Bambang Yuhoyono: (JP/Jerry Adiguna)
First Lady Ani Yudhoyono left Indonesia for Pittsburgh in the United States on Tuesday evening to undergo medical treatment in the American city, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said.
“My wife and I have always had regular medical checkups in Indonesia, in Indonesian hospitals and by Indonesian doctors,” Yudhoyono said during an impromptu press briefing at the State Palace on Tuesday.
“However, in this particular case, the presidential doctors have recommended the First Lady undergo treatment in a Pittsburgh hospital, which has doctors specialized in dealing with the problems my wife is suffering from,” the President added.
Not wanting to disclose the details, Yudhoyono merely described Ani’s medical issues as “trouble with her nerves and vertebrae in her neck.”
Presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha also refused to go into detail but confirmed that the First Lady would undergo surgery on June 15 at the Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Accompanying Ani as she left Jakarta on Tuesday were her young son and Democratic Party secretary-general, Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono, and chief presidential doctor, Brig. Gen. Dr. Aris Wibudi.
On the same day, Yudhoyono and a delegation, taking a presidential flight, will leave Jakarta for a 10-day foreign tour, making a stopover in Pittsburgh to pick up the First Lady.
A few days after having the surgery, Ani is expected to join the presidential delegation to accompany the President to the G-20 summit in Los Cabos and Baja California Sur, Mexico, and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as the Rio+20 Earth Summit.
Thereafter, the President will travel to Ecuador for a bilateral visit before returning home.
In March, the First Lady had an operation to remove her gallbladder at Gatot Soebroto Army Hospital (RSPAD) in Jakarta. Only a few days later, she joined the presidential delegation visiting China, Hong Kong and South Korea.
In late December, Ani was hospitalized for typhoid and spent five days at the RSPAD, where she celebrated New Year’s Eve from her hospital bed.