Juan Carlos I, the father of Spain’s reigning King Felipe VI, is making a satisfactory recovery after undergoing a triple coronary artery bypass on Saturday at Quirónsalud Hospital in Madrid, according to hospital chiefs.
We need to be patient because this was a major surgery
King Felipe VI
The 81-year-old former monarch, who retained the title of emeritus king after his abdication in 2014, is in the intensive care unit where he is reportedly sitting up in bed and in good spirits. His wife, Queen Sofía, visited him after the surgery and underscored his sense of humor in statements to reporters: “He never loses it.”
Felipe VI and his wife, Queen Letizia, also visited Juan Carlos and noted that he was already making jokes despite the post-operation discomfort. Letizia described him as “very brave” and said that Juan Carlos’ granddaughters Leonor and Sofía will be coming to see him in the coming days.
The heart surgery was scheduled after Juan Carlos underwent a checkup in June. The hospital’s managing director, Lucía Alonso, described the procedure as “a success.”
No statements have been made yet as to when Juan Carlos might leave the hospital, where he was admitted on Friday night. “Everything is going well, but we need to be patient because this was a major surgery,” said Felipe VI.
This is the second time that the emeritus king has undergone surgery at Quirónsalud Madrid, located in Pozuelo de Alarcón outside the Spanish capital. The first time was in 2013, when he had hip surgery.
Juan Carlos, who is credited with defending the country against a military coup and leading Spain’s democratic transition in the late 1970s, retired from public duties in May of this year.
English version by Susana Urra.