Former Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon, is reportedly suffering multi-organ failure and doctors fear his condition will only decline until his eventual death. According to Amir Maron, representative from Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, Israel, several of Sharon’s central systems have stopped functioning as he remains in critical condition, Reuters reports.
Back in 2006, just five years after Sharon rose to power as Israel’s Prime Minister, he suffered a detrimental stroke and ended up in a coma. Although he has been able to breathe on his own, doctors placed a feeding tube in Sharon immediately following his stroke. Israel’s Cabinet declared him permanently incapacitated after surgeons removed 20 inches of his intestine, CNN reports.
"He is in critical condition, and his life is definitely in danger," Dr. Zeev Rotstein, director of Tel Hashomer Hospital told reporters. "The feeling of the doctors treating him and also that of the family with him is that there is a turn for the worse."
Health care professionals from the United States say Sharon’s ability to stay alive for so long in a vegetative state is “remarkable,” however, they say a number of illnesses can cause death in his weakened state. "He obviously has some kind of disorder that affects the kidneys," Dr. James L. Bernat from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire told ABC News. "That sort of thing can happen when you're vulnerable because you are bed-bound and the blood isn't circulating."
Sharon’s military expertise is credited with turning the tide of the 1973 Mideast war after trapping the Egyptian army in retaliation to the Arab armies surprise attack on Yom Kippur. Before he became Israel’s Prime Minister in 2001, Sharon served as Prime Minster before him, Yitxhak Rabin’s, military adviser, agricultural minister, and defense minister between 1981 and 1983.
To the surprise of his critics, who gave him nicknames such as “the bulldozer” and “the Butcher of Beirut,” Sharon led a unilateral withdrawal of Israeli troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Following his stroke in 2006, Vice Premier Ehud Olmert assumed power as Israel’s Prime Minister.