Cancer shock: Prime Minister Passos Coelho asks for privacy

Cancer shock: Prime Minister Passos Coelho asks for privacy

It is a “very delicate moment for the family of Pedro Passos Coelho”, reports Correio da Manhã this morning, following the news that the Portuguese prime minister’s physiotherapist wife is battling bone cancer.

Fifty-year-old Laura Ferreira – Passos Coelho’s second wife who has been married to the PSD leader for over a decade – was diagnosed with the condition in November, after she discovered a little lump on her right knee, reports CM.

Throughout December concerns rose as the elegant woman with a ready smile was seen walking on crutches in her Lisbon neighbourhood. She was forced to give up work and now, “to avoid further speculation”, her husband has made a personal statement.

“I can confirm that a problem of an oncological nature has been diagnosed to my wife Laura Ferreira,” he told Lusa news agency.

“Given that it is a private matter that only involves my family I ask that this reserve for privacy continues to be respected.”

Presenting a news segment on SIC’s Queridas Manhãs detailing the First Lady’s emotionally-charged news, Cláudio Ramos described what he called “the hardest conversation” of his life – a telephone call to Ms Ferreira, in which she confirmed her illness and said both she and her doctors were very positive for a full recovery.

As the station’s anchor Júlia Pinheiro said everyone who knows her, and many thousands who don’t, are hoping for her full and rapid recovery.

By NATASHA DONN