By ANAN WIJITPRACHA
THE SUNDAY N
THE controversial Dhammakaya Temple has said its abbot Phra Dhammachayo is seriously ill and has been advised to refrain from travelling for up to four months and wants officers to interview him at the temple tomorrow instead of at the Department of Speci
Phra Sanitwong Wuttiwangso, director of communications at Wat Phra Dhammakaya in Pathum Thani province, yesterday told a press conference that the abbot was unable to meet officials at the DSI office at 9am tomorrow and instead wants to meet them at the temple at 2pm.
He said the monk became seriously ill after forcing himself to attend an April 22 ceremony and his condition had got worse. He claimed the monk’s left leg had swollen further since early this month and doctors had treated it.
Vascular surgery expert Dr Thanakhom Premprapa said Phra Dhammachayo suffered from chronic deep venous thrombosis and his body had adjusted by expanding a secondary vein to allow blood to flow back to the heart, as seen in a magnetic resonance venography result. Thanakhom said the swollen leg and acute pain occurred because the secondary vein was clogged and blood stayed in the leg, resulting in high pressure in leg tissue that could lead to amputation.
Hematology expert Dr Siripong Patanathanawisut said the secondary vein clogging also raised the chance that a blood clot could occur and clog the lung’s vein resulting in death.
He said the abbot must avoid physical activities, while a chronic wound in the monk’s ankle was due to high blood pressure and diabetes.
Emergency medicine expert Dr Atchariya Phaengma said a team of physicians had provided medicine to the monk and instructed him to keep the left leg raised above the heart so blood could flow to the heart better. They also advised him to refrain from travelling for two to four months.
Phra Sanitwong said the abbot did not intend to avoid or stall DSI officials and the temple was willing to send doctors to the DSI to explain the situation.
He said the temple would welcome the DSI having neutral doctors check Phra Dhammachayo prior to the meeting. The DSI has summoned the monk twice to acknowledge charges of collusion in relation to alleged money laundering and receiving ill-gotten gains but the monk didn’t show up. The charges relate to cheques he received from Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative’s former chairman Supachai Srisupa-aksorn, who is accused of embezzling billions of baht from the cooperative.
The abbot returned hundreds of millions of baht after Supachai’s alleged embezzlement was exposed.