Family members gathered around the hospital bed of comatose former prime minister Ariel Sharon on Tuesday to mark his 80th birthday. The family would not speak to the press, but sources close to them said they did not intend to mark the occasion in any special way, aside from bringing "something symbolic" to the hospital. Sharon's birthday came one day before his eldest son, Omri, was due to begin a seven-month prison sentence for illegal fundraising during one of his father's campaigns. Omri Sharon pleaded guilty to the charges in 2005. His appeals were overturned and he was sentenced to nine months in prison as well as a nine-month suspended sentence. After serving as prime minister for five years, Ariel Sharon suffered a massive stroke on January 5, 2006, falling into a coma as a result. His incapacitation led to the election of his deputy, Ehud Olmert, to the Kadima leadership, and to the premiership soon after. After the stroke Sharon was first hospitalized at the Hadassah-University Hospital in Ein Kerem, Jerusalem. Dov Weisglass, formerly Sharon's top adviser, said Tuesday there had been little change in his condition over the past year: He is breathing without the help of machines and his vital signs are good, which means his current state could continue for some time. As for the chance that Sharon will ever emerge from his coma, Weisglass said, "I understand that the doctors are not optimistic." In February 2006, Sharon was treated for gangrene in his digestive tract, a part of which had to be removed. He was then moved to Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer, where he remains hospitalized to this day at the local respiratory rehabilitation center. There have been no changes in Sharon's condition since the digestive tract operation, and all attempts to revive him have failed. AP contributed to this report.