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Saturday Oct. 22, 2011 12:46 PM (EST+7)
Sharon's son says comatose former PM still responsive

Read more: Ariel Sharon, Kadima, Gilad Sharon, Israeli politics, health

RAMALLAH, October 22 (JMCC) - In an interview to promote a new book, the son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says that his father, who suffered a stroke six years ago, is still responsive.

Speaking to the New York Times, Gilad Sharon said he and his brother had fought to keep Sharon on life support, despite medical recommendations.

“When he is awake, he looks at me and moves fingers when I ask him to,” Mr. Sharon said in a telephone interview. “I am sure he hears me.”

Details of Mr. Sharon’s health and status have been closely guarded by the family. His son agreed to discuss the matter as he prepares to publicize a biography of his father that he has finished after four and a half years.

Titled “Sharon: The Life of a Leader,” and due out Tuesday in Hebrew and English, the book says of the famously stout former general: “He lies in bed, looking like the lord of the manor, sleeping tranquilly. Large, strong, self assured. His cheeks are a healthy shade of red. When he’s awake, he looks out with a penetrating stare. He hasn’t lost a single pound; on the contrary, he’s gained some.”

A year ago Mr. Sharon, who is 83, was transferred from a hospital outside Tel Aviv to the family ranch in southern Israel. But Gilad Sharon said that the stay was brief and that his father was returned to the hospital, where he had remained. He hopes that in the coming year his father will come home permanently.







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