Photo: Mário Cruz/ Lusa

Health emergency: former President of Republic Jorge Sampaio airlifted from Algarve to hospital in Lisbon 

Jorge Sampaio, former President of the Portuguese Republic, has been admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties today.

The 81-year-old was on holiday in the Algarve, according to a source from his office.

Given his medical history as a heart patient, the decision was quickly made to transfer him by helicopter to the hospital that habitually accompanies him, Santa Cruz, in Carnaxide.

During the early years of his two term mandate, Mr Sampaio underwent complex heart surgery – temporarily substituted at the time by the then parliamentary president Almeida Santos.

In recent years Mr Sampaio has been very active in raising funds for young people displaced by war to be able to continue their studies.

His international platform has already helped dozens of Syrian students (click here), and there has been talk of it taking on the Afghan young people who may arrive here as a result of the current crisis in their country.