Saturday, January 07, 2006


Sharon's
Doctor
Says
Chances Of
Surviving
Are
Very High


Praying at the Western Wall.

Good news. Let's also pray that he can come through healthy enough to enjoy life a bit:


JERUSALEM - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's chances of surviving his severe stroke are very high, but his ability to think and reason have been damaged, one of his surgeons said Saturday.

The 77-year-old Israeli leader remained in critical condition, though his vital signs were stable and a brain scan Saturday showed a slight reduction in swelling.

Doctors are to decide Sunday when to begin lifting Sharon's medically induced coma to examine the severity of the brain damage.

"Tomorrow is the day of truth," Dr. Jose Cohen, one of Sharon's surgeons, told Channel 2 TV. "Tomorrow we will all know if what we did for him helped him or not."

Cohen said he was "quite optimistic" about Sharon's prospects for survival, which he said were "very high now."

But when asked about possible cognitive impairment, Cohen replied, "To say after such a severe trauma as this that there will be no cognitive problems is simply not to recognize the reality."

Cohen's comments appeared on Channel 2 as a transcript broadcast on the screen. He did not appear himself. It was not immediately possible to contact Cohen by phone, and Sharon's other surgeon, Dr. Felix Umansky, declined to be interviewed.

The comments reinforced a widespread assumption that Sharon will never return to power. Israelis from all walks of life have lamented Sharon's likely departure from the political scene.

With his larger-than life persona and warrior credentials, he was seen as the man most capable of disentangling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.