Christopher Skase, facing expulsion from Spain, and his wife Pixie have been held up in their Andratx farmhouse for the past week. Inside the four walls tension appears to be mounting and nerves starting to fray as concerns for Skase's health are overshadowing recent legal developments. Yesterday, the doctor who has been treating Skase at a Palma clinic since the former Australian business tycoon underwent his first bi-lateral lung operation in Valencia at the start of March, 1999, said: I am very, very concerned for the welfare of my patient. Dr Felipe Nicolau, who was one of the three doctors responsible for the life saving surgery, was forced to admit that things are not looking good. Asked straight out can Skase travel? Dr Nicolau replied, absolutely not. He said that the issue about Skase travelling was absurd in his professional medical opinion. It's like asking can a thirteen-year-old child drive a car, he or she probably could, but that's not the issue, we should not even be considering finding out. Dr Nicolau, who has taken care of Skases' post operative treatment, said that his patient has been advised to stay at home and rest. Since March 1999, Skase has undergone two other operations, one on his lungs as doctors continue to try and treat his advanced pulmonary emphysema first diagnosed in 1991, and a third, within the past month, to try to remove an 8cm tumour in his stomach caused by stomach cancer. Dr Nicolau explained that the tumour is well advanced and that is currently his main concern as it has spread to the pancreas and duodenum and Nicolau said that Skase could have to undergo at least two more operations for stomach cancer. As a result of the latest operation, Skase is connected to a colostomy bag. His doctor warns that travel, in any form, would produce further suffering for his patient. Will he die? It's very complicated and could be dangerous, Nicolau said. Earlier yesterday morning a distressed and emotional Pixie Skase aired the same fears but I've said it before, a long time ago and nobody believes me, ask the doctor, she said. Christopher's here with me, where the doctor has told him to rest, he's critically ill. Trying to choke back the tears, almost conceding defeat, she asked how can one person win against all Vantone's (the Australian Justice Minister) lies? I just wish everybody would stop hounding and pursuing my critically ill husband. she pleaded. Skase's regular exercise programme, prescribed by doctors as he battled his lung condition, appears to have been withdrawn - he no longer walks the dogs every morning. If he leaves the house at all, it is to head into Palma to see his doctors. But the cards are stacked against him with the pending expulsion order in the hands of the Spanish Foreign Office which is responsible for signing the order, finding a country which will accept Skase, and securing his travel. It will be handed over to the Interior Ministry (Home Office) which is responsible for the logistics.
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