Ninjaman Needs Emergency Heart Surgery Says Lawyer

Embattled dancehall artiste Ninjaman will need heart surgery "as soon as possible" as he has been diagnosed with a serious heart problem that requires urgent medical attention.

"We have the medical, Ninjaman has a serious heart condition, and he will have to have an operation which will require a recovery period of three to four months. So we want to finish this case as quickly as possible because Ninjaman cannot go under any stress right now and has to remain as calm as possible," Valerie Neita Robinson, Ninjaman's attorney, told Loop reporter Claude Mills on Tuesday evening.

"We have to finish this case as quickly as possible in order to take him out of this stressful situation and believe me, it is stressful, any human being will be stressed," she said. 

Pressed as to severity of Ninjaman's heart condition, she responded: "Well, he needs to do an angioplasty as soon as possible, his pulse rate is very low, normally the pulse rate of the average human being is about 90, Ninjaman's rate is 40. the blood is not going to all the places in the heart, and being stationary is not every good for him."

The high-profile attorney said that reputable doctors have diagnosed that there is need of a 'vascular intervention' because there is evidence in Ninjaman's heart of severely reduced blood flow (ischemia) to an area of heart muscle caused by one or more narrowed coronary arteries.

This condition of a narrowed or blocked artery is likely to be treated successfully with angioplasty.

Angioplasty opens blocked arteries and restores normal blood flow to your heart muscle. It is not major surgery. It is done by threading a catheter (thin tube) through a small puncture in a leg or arm artery to the heart. The blocked artery is opened by inflating a tiny balloon in it.

Sources say it is unlikely that the prosecution could sum up their case Wednesday as another witness is expected to be called. 

Last week, Ninjaman complained of chest pains and difficulty breathing, forcing an abrupt end to the session - which was held in camera at the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston - at noon.

Ninjaman gave his lawyer permission to go on with the case without him.

Ninjaman, whose given name is Desmond Ballentine, along with his son Jahneil, is charged with the March 2009 murder of Ricardo Johnson on Marl Road in Kingston. He was granted bail in 2012.

The dancehall deejay was taken into custody three weeks ago after his bail was revoked by High Court judge, Justice Martin Gayle, who ordered the murder trial to begin immediately. The case had seen 17 trial dates and 23 mentions.

In spite of his condition, Ninjaman is expected to return to court on Wednesday.