Sharon still responds 6 years after stroke

Oct. 21, 2011 at 8:44 AM
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JERUSALEM, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon "looks at me and moves fingers" six years after a stroke left him in a coma-like state, his son said.

Gilad Sharon said his father responds to some requests and has gained weight despite being fed intravenously, The New York Times reported Friday.

"When he is awake, he looks at me and moves fingers when I ask him to," Gilad Sharon told the Times in a telephone interview. "I am sure he hears me."

His family has been reluctant to discuss Sharon's health but his son agreed to talk to the Times in advance of his biography about his father due for release Tuesday.

One passage from "Sharon: The Life of a Leader" describes the appearance of the 83-year-old 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 Sharon was transferred from a hospital near Tel Aviv to the family ranch in southern Israel. Gilad Sharon said the stay was brief and his father was returned to the hospital.

The son expressed hope that his father would return home permanently sometime in the coming year.

"The problem is Israeli bureaucracy," Gilad Sharon told the Times. "I think it would be better for him to be at home."

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