The Toots and the Maytals legend Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert is reportedly on a ventilator and in a medically-induced coma at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).
His publicist, Claude Mills, told The STAR that Hibbert, 78, was transferred to UHWI on September 1st, where he is fighting for his life. The family is asking the public for prayer as the icon’s condition appears to deteriorate.
Hibbert’s manager, Cabel Stephenson expressed similar sentiments to Loop News, saying in a statement, “We need prayers right now, Toots is a mighty soldier on the battlefield. It is rough but the doctors and consultants at UHWI, with the assistance of Dr. Shernette Bryan, are working 24-7 around the clock to save him and we thank them for their efforts. We know he will pull through; he is a true warrior…”
The Toots and the Maytals frontman was placed in intensive care over the weekend after developing breathing problems. A representative of Hibbert’s team told Music News that he is “getting the best possible medical treatment, and his progress is being carefully monitored.”
Toots Hibbert is currently awaiting COVID-19 test results from the UHWI following testing on Sunday, August 30, 2020. Members Toots’ inner circle have self-quarantined and have been tested for COVID-19.
It’s reported that Minister of Culture, Entertainment, Gender and Sport, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, and Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Christopher Tufton played an instrumental role in assisting with the expedited processing of the COVID-19 tests for Hibbert and others on his team.
British reggae vocalist Maxi Priest took to social media to send his regards, where he posted on Instagram, “Prayers and well wishes to my bredrin. Stay strong king. Blessings all around.”
Renowned British label Trojan Records showed their support, hoping Hibbert “makes a speedy recovery.”
“We will be monitoring his progress and issuing further updates through his Jamaican publicist Claude Mills,” Hibbert’s manager, Stephenson told the Star.
Toots has been in the music industry for nearly six decades and has made his mark with prolific hits. Just recently, he participated in the annual Jamaica Festival Song Contest, which he has won three times, first with Bam Bam (1966), Sweet and Dandy in 1969, and again in 1972 with the Pomps and Pride.
“I was asked to come and participate, and that’s why I did ‘Rise Up Jamaica’ because we have to elevate and uplift Jamaicans and also rise up the level of the contest, and to tell my people ‘don’t give up’, beware the coronavirus, but still rise…and I feel great to have been part of that whole process,” Hibbert told Loop News.
Less than a week earlier before his hospitalization, he released his latest album, Got to Be Tough, the first album to be released by Toots and the Maytals in more than a decade.
The Hibbert family is asking the public for privacy at this time as they support Toots in his fight for his life.