Despite claims on the radio by Ariel Sharon's longtime friend and lawyer Dov Weissglas that the former prime minister - hospitalized for nearly four years at Sheba Medical Center - is "in a stage before awakening from his coma," his personal physician said on Thursday that there was no truth to it.
Dr. Shlomo Segev told The Jerusalem Post that only Sharon's sons and daughter-in-law and the medical staff see him, and not Weissglas. Sharon, 81, is in a "static vegetative state" with severe brain damage and in a coma, but not a very deep coma that would prevent him from opening his eyes and even following things with them, Segev said. He praised the nurses and doctors on the staff for their devoted care of Sharon since he went into a coma after two strokes, adding that his maintenance treatment has become routine and that when they recognize problems, they treat them.
"There is no such thing as being in 'stages of waking up.' There is no improvement," he declared, adding that he couldn't predict how long this situation would continue before Sharon's death.
False rumors about Sharon "improving" have persisted since he was transferred in a coma from Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem to Sheba's rehabilitation department in Tel Hashomer.
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