Sharon: 'No Change'

Ariel Sharon is in a medically induced coma after suffering a massive stroke and is unlikely ever to return to work, doctors say. By early Friday he remained in a deep coma and was likely to remain under sedation for at least a further 72 hours.

Sharon: 'No Change'
The Israeli prime minister, who suffered a stroke on Wednesday, underwent six hours of surgery to stem bleeding in his brain. But a subsequent scan showed new bleeding in several areas leading doctors to operate for another hour to control it.

 

By early Friday he remained in a deep coma and was likely to remain under sedation for at least a further 72 hours.

 

Shlomo Mor-Yosef, director of the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem, gave reporters an update of Sharon's condition.

"There has been no change during the night," he said. "All the vital signs that we measure - blood pressure, intra-cranial pressure - all these vital signs have been stable, within the normal levels and this is positive."

He said that a team of medics would meet later in the day to discuss whether Sharon should undergo another brain scan.

On Thursday night, Dr Mor-Yosef had said that Sharon's pupils were responding to light, "which means the brain is functioning". "We are fighting for the life of the prime minister, with no compromise," he said.

 

Full recovery unlikely

 

Neurosurgeons not involved in Sharon's treatment said a full recovery was unlikely after such a massive stroke. Sharon

was taken to Jerusalem for treatment late on Wednesday from his ranch in the Nev desert in southern Israel.

 

Sharon's deputy, Ehud Olmert, took the reins on Thursday as acting prime minister and tried to convey a sense of stability, but Sharon's grave condition left Israelis stunned and threw his  peace agenda into doubt.

 

Sharon's collapse less than three months before elections left his moderate Kadima Party, which appeared headed for an easy victory, in limbo. Aides to Sharon said they were working on the assumption he would not return to work.

 

Opinion polls have predicted that Sharon, 77, would easily win a general election scheduled for 28 March. He was due to contest the election at the head of Kadima, his newly formed centrist party. He recently left Likud, where right-wingers had criticised the withdrawal from Gaza.



Aluf Ben, Haaretz's diplomatic correspondent, wrote on the newspaper's website: "With all due caution, it appears as though the era of Sharon leading Israel has reached its tragic end."

The Final Battle

 

Israel's largest newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, summed up Sharon's situation with the headline "The Final Battle". George W Bush, the US president, said: "Prime minister Sharon is a man of courage and peace. On behalf of all Americans, we send our best wishes and hopes to the prime minister and his family."

 

Sharon had been due to undergo an operation on Thursday at Hadassah to repair a tiny hole in his heart thought to have caused the blood clot that led to a minor stroke on 18 December. 



Doctors speculated on Israeli television that blood-thinning drugs administered over the past two weeks may have contributed to Wednesday's more severe stroke.



After several days in hospital last month Sharon quickly ploughed back into a punishing public schedule. He has campaigned on a reconciliatory platform to give up more occupied land in the West Bank as a way to end decades of conflict, but has vowed to keep large settlement blocs.

Palestinian reaction

 

Palestinians have long suspected that Sharon's plans for ending conflict meant that he would dictate terms that would leave them only fragments of the state they seek. Nabil Shaath, the deputy Palestinian prime minister, said he did not believe that Sharon ever had any faith in the peace process, but his condition would increase uncertainty over getting back to negotiations. Resistance factions reacted with glee to the news.



The Islamist Hamas said: "The whole region will be better off with him absent. Sharon was the one who carried out massacres and terrorism for decades against our people."

 

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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