(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Former president Shimon Peres went into severe organ failure on Tuesday morning and is in terminal condition, after two weeks of being in stable but serious condition following a massive hemorrhagic stroke at Sheba Medical Center.
According to sources close to Peres in the hospital, the 93-year-old was suffering irreversible brain damage.
Israel's ninth president remained sedated, but was independently respirating. The damage from swelling of the brain apparently occurred soon after his stroke on September 13, but had initially been undetectable.
Yet on Tuesday, a sudden shift of dead brain cells occurred and his parameters all started to be unstable.
His son-in-law and deputy director-general of the hospital treating Peres, Prof. Rafi Walden, said that “his condition is extremely serious.”
Doctors and family members had been cautiously optimistic initially after the stroke because the veteran statesman was able to identify some of them and responded to instructions such as grasping their hands.
However, on Tuesday, Channel 10 reported that doctors had urged the close relatives of the former president to say their last goodbyes to him.
All the close members of his family were at his bedside on Tuesday. Hospital officials were due to issue an update to the press on his condition at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Tuesday's change came as a shock less then a week after doctors had taken steps toward the process of weaning him from his respirator.
Peres underwent another computerized tomography (CT) scan last Wednesday, and his doctors at the time had decided to continue conservative treatment and ongoing neurological followup.
Jpost.com Staff contributed to this report.