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      'I Cannot Say That He Will Overcome This'

      Medical staff at Tel HaShomer's Sheba Medical Center reveals that Sharon's condition has worsened further. Rothstein: the situation is grim.
      By Tova Dvorin
      First Publish: 1/5/2014, 11:33 AM

      The prognosis for Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's condition is grim, Tel HaShomer Hospital staff revealed Sunday. 

      "Since the last update we were able to stabilize the cardiovascular system and blood vessels, and to keep [the Prime Minister's] heart rate and blood pressure more stabilized," explained Professor Ze'ev Rothstein, director of Sheba Hospital in Tel HaShomer. "We were not able to stabilize other systems and [Sharon] suffers from systemic failure." 

      He explained, "Arik [Ariel Sharon] has been fighting a battle against all odds. His family and his children are with him, his systems have not regained functioning, we could not yet conquer his [blood] infection. This is a real situation of war."

      Professor Rothstein said that "We have always known that he has a good heart, now we also know that he has a strong heart."

      However, Rothstein also emphasized that the situation is grim. "I cannot say I'm optimistic this morning; I may be even more pessimistic than I was before." Despite the good developments, he explained, years of experience with situations like these do not give the future a lot of hope. 

      "I cannot say that he will overcome the current crisis," Rothstein concluded. 

      Doctors confirmed late last week that the former Prime Minister's organs were failing, and reports have surfaced since then that Sharon's condition has been steadily - if slowly - on the decline.

      It is unclear how long Sharon will have left to live; while some reports state that he has days or even hours, at least one medical expert has claimed that he has seen patients hovering on the brink of life for a long time

      Sharon, now 85, served as Israel's Prime Minister from 2001 to 2006. During his tenure he initiated the Disengagement plan, during which thousands of Jews were deported from Gaza and northern Samaria. 

      Sharon suffered a serious stroke on January 4, 2006 and has been comatose since.

      In January 2013, US and Israeli specialists reported that Sharon had showed "significant brain activity" in an MRI scan, responding to pictures of his family seven years after the stroke. Despite this, Sharon's condition basically remains unchanged.