|Family at bedside of comatose Ariel Sharon as condition turns for the worse
Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma for eight years, was in critical condition today, clinging to life after a decline in the functioning of various bodily organs, his doctors said.
Dr Zeev Rotstein, director of Tel Hashomer hospital, said Sharon's condition had deteriorated over the past two days and that a number of vital organs, including his kidneys, were suffering from “critical malfunction.''
“He is in critical condition and his life is definitely in danger,'' Rotstein said. “The feeling of the doctors treating him and also that of the family with him is that there is a turn for the worse.''
Sharon's family are at his bedside, Rotstein said.
The 85-year-old Sharon, has been in a coma since suffering a devastating stroke in January 2006. At the time, he was prime minister and at the height of his political power.
Sharon's career has stretched across Israel's 65-year history.
As one of Israel's most famous generals, Sharon was known for bold tactics and an occasional refusal to obey orders. As a politician he became known as “the bulldozer'' _ a man contemptuous of his critics while also capable of getting things done.
Sharon had a first, small stroke in December 2005 and was put on blood thinners before experiencing a severe brain hemorrhage on January 4, 2006.
After spending months in the Jerusalem hospital where he was initially treated, Sharon was transferred to the long-term care facility at Tel Hashomer hospital. He was taken home briefly at one point but was returned several days later to the hospital, where he has been since.
Although Sharon never regained full consciousness, his family has said he occasionally blinks his eyes and moves his fingers.