Comatose former PM Sharon to go on ‘vacation’ at ranch

Sharon to be brought to his Sycamore Ranch in the Negev over the weekend, where specialists will continue to observe him.

November 11, 2010 15:54
1 minute read.
Former prime minister Ariel Sharon

ariel sharon 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file[)

Former prime minister Ariel Sharon, deep in a coma due to two strokes nearly five years ago, will spend his first "vacation" from Sheba Medical Center at his Sycamore Ranch in the western Negev over the weekend. Security officials will keep him out of view during the transfer.

Hospital officials were tightlipped about the temporary release from Sheba’s rehabilitation department, but said that specialists from the medical center would accompany him this time.

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During future "vacations," they will not, but the Sharon family will hire medical and auxiliary staffers privately. If the family and hired staffers are able to keep him stable at the ranch over several visits, he will remain there, a hospital spokeswoman said on Thursday.

Sharon, 82, went into a coma at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem in January 2006 and has since been in a vegetative state. The family purchased equipment for the ranch, where Sharon’s wife Lily is buried, that can monitor and maintain his condition around the clock.

Family friend Ra’anan Gissin said that most of the time, Sharon breathes on his own but is sometimes hooked up to an oxygen balloon.

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