Former prime minister Ariel Sharon responds to stimulus and has gained weight despite being in a coma-like state after suffering a stroke almost six years ago, his son Gilad told The New York Times in an interview published on Thursday.

“When he is awake, he looks at me and moves fingers when I ask him to,” Gilad Sharon said of his father. “I am sure he hears me,” he added.

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Gilad Sharon is set to release a biography of his father, entitled, Sharon: The Life of a Leader, in both Hebrew and English on Tuesday.

“He lies in bed, looking like the lord of the manor, sleeping tranquilly. Large, strong, self assured. His cheeks are a healthy shade of red. When he’s awake, he looks out with a penetrating stare. He hasn’t lost a single pound; on the contrary, he’s gained some,” Gilad Sharon purports in the biography.

Sharon told the Times that he hopes his father will return home permanently from Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem in the coming year.

Gilad Sharon claims in the book that he and his brother Omri had insisted that his father be kept alive following his stroke in 2006 despite doctors and nurses advising them to let him die. He adds that doctors later acknowledged that Ariel Sharon was healthier than they had first believed due to their having misread a CT scan.

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