Friday, January 06, 2006

Sharon Paralyzed, to Remain on Life-Support

By Hillel Fendel and Ezra HaLevi
Director-General of Hadassah Hospital Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef told a press conference Thursday evening that PM Sharon's brain hemorrhage makes it "almost impossible" for him to return to his position.

Dr. Mor Yosef explained that doctors have not examined the Prime Minister's motor functions, but he is paralyzed on his right side and has been put under sedation, which will continue for at least another 48 hours.

The Hadassah Director-General rejected criticism that Prime Minister Sharon, who felt ill while at his Negev ranch, should have been transported to the nearby Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva instead of to Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital. He added that his return to a full workload following the minor stroke December 18 was his decision after consultations with physicians. The reason for bringing him to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital was because the medical staff there already had treated him for the minor stroke and was thoroughly knowledgeable of his medical past, the hospital director explained.

Dr. Mor-Yosef also spoke to reporters at 2 PM this afternoon and told them that rumors of Sharon's death are not true.

"The Prime Minister's condition is stable, but still serious," he said. "All the vital signs that we measure are in accordance with what we expect after an operation of this type."

"Part of the required treatment at present," Mor-Yosef said, "is to retain low pressure within the skull, and this requires deep anesthetization for at least the coming 24 hours."

"My purpose in telling you this is, first of all, to keep you informed, and also," Mor-Yosef then added emphatically, "to put to bed the rumors that are sweeping the country. As director of Hadassah, I pledge that any change in the Prime Minister's condition will be reported to you."

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's condition deteriorated critically upon his arrival in the hospital Wednesday night, and he underwent an emergency seven-hour operation to stop the massive bleeding in his brain. Following the surgery, his condition was described as "serious," then "very serious."

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