Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Sharon undergoing surgery for intra-cranial bleeding


Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was rushed into surgery at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem late Wednesday night, after intra-cranial bleeding was detected, following what doctors described as a "significant stroke."

There was no immediate assessment of the damage he may have suffered, but doctors assessed that Sharon's chances of recovery may not be high.

As a result of his condition, Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has taken over prime ministerial authority, Cabinet Secretary Yisrael Maimon told reporters.

Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, director of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, said Sharon had suffered "a significant stroke," adding that he was "under anesthetic and receiving breathing assistance."

Dr. Shmuel Shapira of Hadassah Hospital told Channel 2 TV that Sharon suffered "a massive stroke, he was taken to an operating room to drain the blood."Doctors said earlier that the prime minister was receiving breathing assistance as his condition was assessed.

A few minutes later, Mor-Yosef emerged to say that initial tests showed Sharon had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, or bleeding inside his brain.

Addressing reporters in English, Mor-Yosef said Sharon had "massive bleeding and was being transferred to an operating theater."

Shortly after the release of the news, a White House spokesman said that "our thoughts and prayers" are with Sharon and his family.

Sharon was taken to hospital after complaining of pain Wednesday night, less than three weeks after suffering a mild stroke and just hours before he was to undergo a heart procedure.