Sharon in critical but stable condition
Updated: 2006-02-13 07:35
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has been comatose since suffering a
massive stroke more than five weeks ago, was in critical but stable condition
Sunday following emergency abdominal surgery, the hospital treating him said.
Though the surgery was successful, Sharon's doctors said hope was fading for
the premier to wake from his coma. Since the stroke, Sharon has been hooked up
to a breathing tube. A feeding tube was inserted in his stomach on Feb. 1.
Sharon, 77, was rushed into surgery
Saturday morning after an abdominal scan revealed dead tissue in his digestive
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert gestures as he convenes the weekly cabinet
meeting in Jerusalem Sunday Feb. 12, 2006.
Doctors removed 20 inches, or one-third, of his large intestine during the
four-hour surgery, the seventh Sharon has undergone since suffering the
debilitating stroke Jan. 4. The tissue death, or necrosis, was either caused by
infection or a drop in the blood supply to the intestines, something common in
comatose patients, Sharon's doctors said.
"Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's condition stabilized after surgery, but it is
still described this morning as critical and stable," Jerusalem's Hadassah
Hospital said in a statement. "The prime minister is in the general intensive
Sharon's political heir, acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said Sunday he
was relieved by the success of the surgery and expressed his support for
Sharon's sons, Omri and Gilad.
"We are encouraged by the reports from Hadassah Hospital regarding the health
situation of the prime minister following the operation yesterday," Olmert said
before the government's weekly Cabinet meeting. "The whole government is sending
a warm hug to Omri and Gilad, who are standing by their father day and night."
Sharon's sons have acquired guardianship over their father since his stroke.
Under Israeli law, any decision to perform emergency surgery or to discontinue
medical treatment would require their consent, said Jonathan Davies, a leading
Israeli medical law expert.