Following the transfer to the Gori Military Hospital for treatment, jailed ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili’s health condition is stable but he complains of general weakness and imbalance issues, according to a new assessment of the team of medical experts convened by the Public Defender’s Office.
The findings, issued on November 25, note that Saakashvili’s vital parameters are within the norms and that treatment is going adequately, but recommend involving “highly qualified specialists” in the process “to adequately diagnose, to determine the course of psychotherapy and pharmacological treatment, and to adequately manage the rehabilitation process.”
Assessing Saakashvili’s health, the doctors reported that after starting the treatment, the symptoms of Wernicke encephalopathy – the neurological condition that caused his collapse on November 18 – is reversing. The team estimated that vestibular dysfunction might improve within two weeks, with confusion and weakness remaining for several weeks. But full recovery from ophthalmoparesis — which refers to weakness or paralysis of one or more extraocular muscles — may not occur, they said.
The group also highlighted that there is a decrease in phosphate levels in Saakashvili’s blood, corresponding to refeeding syndrome, which the doctors said requires frequent monitoring.
The doctors recommend involving highly qualified specialists in the ex-President’s treatment process, considering the combination of the current rigid psychological environment and severe Wernicke syndrome caused by the hunger strike.
Saakashvili, who arrived secretly in Georgia in late September after 8 years in exile, was arrested on October 1, on the eve of local elections. He declared hunger strike on the day of his detention, calling it off some 49 days later on November 19. He is convicted in two cases in absentia and faces charges in three more, including the illegal border crossing. Originally held in Rustavi prison, he was forcibly transferred to Gldani prison hospital amid his deteriorating health on November 8. He was transferred to Gori Military Hospital on November 19, a day after his health drastically deteriorated – he temporarily lost consciousness and collapsed.