(photo credit: REUTERS)
Doctors and family members of former president Shimon Peres will make a decision as early as this weekend about when to completely halt his medically induced coma, officials at Sheba Medical Center said on Thursday.
The process of removing Peres from his sedation continued gradually during the day. The decision about the pace of completely ending the sedation will be based on the continuous evaluations of the damage of the hemorrhagic stroke Peres suffered on Tuesday.
Peres’s doctors said that the 93-year-old’s situation has improved since the stroke.
Because Peres remained in serious but stable condition on Thursday, his office and Sheba made a decision to reduce the number of news alerts about the former president.
On Thursday morning, they said that Peres had a “quiet night,” with no change in his condition.
“He continues to receive the treatment decided upon by his doctors,” a statement released by Sheba and Peres’s office said.
“There will be additional medical consultations. With any change in treatment or in his condition, notification will be made.”
Bet before the decision to not speak to the media was made, Peres’s son-in-law and personal physician, Dr. Rafi Walden, said it was too early to tell whether there may be lasting neurological damage from the stroke, which afflicted the right side of Peres’s brain.
“All the parameters are stable – blood pressure, heart rate, blood saturation,” Walden told reporters, adding that this gives him a “certain optimism.”
“The chances of survival are pretty good,” he said. “As for the degree of neurological recovery, nobody can say at this early stage.”
Walden, who is married to Peres’s daughter Tsvia, said he does not believe there is an imminent threat to Peres’s life, but called it a difficult time for the family.
“We are very close to him,” he said. “We are very moved and touched by his condition, but also very moved by the reaction of the Israeli public.”
Pope Francis conveyed his best wishes for Peres on Thursday, saying he was praying for his full recovery. Francis held a special prayer service on Thursday for the former president alongside the pope’s longtime friend Rabbi Abraham Skorka, the rector of the Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano in their native Buenos Aires.
US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump also send a letter to Peres on Thursday, wishing him a speedy recovery.
“Melania and I join the rest of the world in wishing you a quick recovery,” Trump wrote.
“You are one of the last generation of leaders who fought for the Jewish nation to shape its own future.”
Reuters contributed to this report.