King Fahd's doctor says no one was willing to admit monarch was dying

A New Jersey doctor who spent three last days of King Fahd life treating the ruler, said that his patient had little chance to survive but no one wanted to say it.

Dr. Phil Dellinger, director of critical care at Cooper University Hospital, was contacted by Saudi officials late June and traveled to the kingdom to help care for the ailing Fahd, who died Monday at 84, after spending nearly two months in a Riyadh hospital.

Dellinger, an expert in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, an illness which severely impairs a person's ability to transfer oxygen from the lugs to the blood, said initially, said the caller from the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington asked him if he would travel to the Middle Eastern country to help an ailing member of the royal family.

"I told him I'm very busy and I probably would not be interested in going, but it would depend somewhat on who it was in the royal family, and he said it was the king," Dellinger said in a telephone interview Monday. He agreed and was whisked to Saudi Arabia.

For three days, Dellinger spent almost every minute at Riyadh's King Faisal Specialist Hospital.

Dellinger, who returned to the United States on July 3, said he believes it was ARDS that eventually caused Fahd's death. Saudi officials have said only that Fahd died of an illness, the AP reports.

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