Rob Ford, the controversial mayor of Toronto who last year acknowledged using crack cocaine in a “drunken stupor,” has been admitted to hospital with a tentative diagnosis of a tumour after suffering months of abdominal pain.
Dr Rueben Devlin, of Humber Regional Hospital said that Mr Ford had been complaining of abdominal pains and that an examination resulted in a working diagnosis of a tumour.
He said Mr Ford had been suffering from stomach pains for at least three months and revealed they had worsened in the last 24 hours. “It became unbearable for him,” he said.
The embattled mayor is standing for re-election on 27 October despite repeated calls for him to step down.
Mr Ford, 45, acknowledged using class A drugs following months of denials. The mayor returned to work in June this year after a period in rehab for drug and alcohol abuse. He described the treatment he received as “life saving”.
Dr Devlin said medical staff have yet to determine what type of tumour the politician has and will carry out several tests.
He said he could not say how long Mr Ford will remain in the hospital.
Dr Devlin said the politician had received a CT scan which was “very definitive for the tumour” but that a “definitive diagnosis” is still to come.
Ford had previously said he had abdominal surgery to remove a tumour on his appendix.
Speaking on CTV television in a 2010 interview, he said: “I had a major surgery on my appendix; they took out a piece of my colon. So I had a tumour in my appendix, and that’s pretty scary when that happens.”
Tom Ford, 45, is married with two children.
The mayor, who came to power pledging to cut waste at city hall and keep a lid on taxes, has a core base of suburban support. A poll last month showed Mr Ford gaining ground over challengers.
City councillor Doug Ford, the mayor’s brother and campaign manager, yesterday said the politician was “in good spirits”.
But Doug Ford sidestepped questions about the mayoral race. Although campaigning has been under way for months, the official deadline for candidates to sign up is today.
Political analysts in Canada say that leaves time for Doug Ford to step in for his brother, a possibility some have long speculated about.
Doug Ford deflected a question about Rob’s previous health issues. He said his brother has complained of stomach pain while they had breakfast.
“He said his stomach was bothering him. He went to the doctor’s and the doctor sent him over to Humber,” he said.
Dennis Morris, Ford’s lawyer and a family friend, said he spoke to the mayor earlier this week and that he did not mention any abdominal pain.
Mr Ford appeared well during a debate on Tuesday night. The mayor has steadfastly refused to step down since reports emerged of a video of him smoking crack cocaine.
Olivia Chow, who is running to replace Mr Ford, tweeted that her thoughts and hopes are with Ford and his family for good news in the days ahead.
John Tory, who is considered the frontrunner in the race, also wished Mr Ford a speedy recovery.