TORONTO – Doctors have removed the “main mass” of a cancerous tumour from Rob Ford’s abdomen, a spokesman for the former Toronto mayor said Monday as the surgery entered its final hours.
“Things are going well, and the councillor has remained stable the entire time while under anesthesia,” Dan Jacobs said in an email.
“We’re just praying that everything works out,” the ex-mayor’s brother, Doug Ford, said outside the hospital on Monday evening.
“We’ve just been praying that Rob makes it through … we’re 100 per cent confident that he will and then he has a big battle ahead of him,” he said.
Before the surgery, Rob Ford said that his biggest fear was not waking up.
“I just want to wake up. That’s all I want to do is wake up,” he told local television station CP24 on the weekend. “Once I wake up from the surgery, then I can start dealing with it and fighting it and getting better.”
Ford, now a city councillor, had previously described the procedure as a “very serious operation,” and noted that it could put him out of commission for as long as four months.
In a photograph posted on Twitter before the surgery began, Ford was seen dressed in a blue hospital gown giving the camera two thumbs up.
“Just prior to 8 a.m., the scheduled start for his surgery, Coun. Ford took a picture in his hospital bed, with the message ‘Thank you Toronto, for all your love and support.'”
“Coun. Ford then stood and walked with hospital staff to the operating room.”
Ford’s surgery comes after several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation which he said shrunk his tumour to an operable size.
Surgeons at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital are now expected to make two incisions of about 30 centimetres each in an effort to remove Ford’s tumour, which is approximately five centimetres in size, Jacobs said.
Following the procedure, Ford is expected to be kept in a post-operative recovery area, before being transferred to a “surgical step down unit,” Jacobs added.
While Ford was anxious before the surgery, Jacobs said the famous politician was eager to have the procedure begin.
“He’s at the same time nervous but also happy that it’s finally here and he can finally get this over with and get on the road to recover,” Jacobs said.
Rob Ford, whose admitted drug and alcohol abuse and outrageous behaviour earned him international notoriety, was forced out of his mayoral re-election bid last September when doctors discovered his rare, aggressive malignant liposarcoma. He ran successfully for council instead.
The type of cancer Ford has — only about one per cent of cancers are similar — arises from fat cells and can attack a variety of soft tissue in the body.