‘Dramatic deterioration’ in Ariel Sharon’s condition
Family and friends gather at bedside of comatose former prime minister, who has been in critical condition since last week
Ariel Sharon’s condition “dramatically deteriorated” late Thursday afternoon, hospital officials said. The former prime minister now suffers from kidney failure and blood infection, and is in “immediate, life-threatening critical condition,” they said.
Sharon, 85, has been in a coma since suffering a debilitating stroke in 2006. His condition, long stable, took a turn for the worse last week and doctors at Sheba Medical Center, at Tel Hashomer near Tel Aviv, have been issuing intermittent updates detailing his deteriorating condition.
Hospital director Zeev Rotstein said earlier in the week that “if we don’t see a change on the scale of a miracle, his situation will continue to get worse each day.”
On Sunday, Rotstein said Sharon’s heartbeat and blood pressure were “good,” and reiterated that assessment on Monday. An infection in his bloodstream was also being kept under control with antibiotics, he said.
“We knew he had a good heart, and now we know he has a strong heart,” he said, but added that Sharon’s life was still in “immediate danger” and there was no cause for optimism.
Sharon is “a true lion” who “continues to fight for his life,” the hospital director added Sunday.
His family remained at his bedside, the hospital said, and former soldiers who fought alongside him were among the well-wishers visiting.
“People come throughout the day, to talk, to support his sons at this difficult hour,” Rotstein said Monday.
Doctors said Sharon was suffering from renal failure that could lead to multiple organ system failure and death. Sharon has been hospitalized at Sheba for seven years.
The hospital director said last week that while Sharon’s condition had “seen ups and downs” in the past two-and-a-half months, his life was now in danger.
“The danger [to Sharon’s life] exists, [but] as we know, Arik [Sharon] is a powerful man and has survived difficult situations during his time in our hospital,” he continued. ”I’m no prophet, but the feeling among the doctors treating him and the family by his side… is that he has taken a turn for the worse.”
Rotstein added that Sharon wasn’t receiving dialysis treatment for his kidney collapse, as it was not recommended for a patient with multiple organ failure. He said the ex-prime minister had received antibiotic treatment in recent weeks for infections that caused his condition to deteriorate.
“He is receiving all the treatments that a patient in his condition should receive,” he said.