Sharon rushed to hospital after significant stroke

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was rushed to Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem late Wednesday night after suffering a significant stroke.

Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef said Sharon is under general anesthetic and is receiving breathing assistance as his condition is assessed.

He was rushed into surgery at Hadassah Hospital after intra-cranial bleeding was detected. But there was no immediate assessment of the damage he may have suffered.

Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has taken over prime minister powers during Sharon’s hospitalization, cabinet secretary Yisrael Maimon told reporters.
Israeli media said that Sharon’s condition is very serious and has been taken to operating room.

Israeli Channel 2 TV said that Sharon is suffering from paralysis in his lower body.

The Prime Minister initially complained of feeling chest pressure and pain when he was at his home in the Sycamore Ranch in Negev in southern Israel, preparing for his planned catheterization procedure on Thursday morning at the Hadassah Hospital.

Both his sons, Gilad and Omri were with Sharon when he was not feeling well, and they accompanied him to the hospital.

The Prime Minister was scheduled to undergo a heart procedure Thursday morning which will involve a general anesthetic and last three hours.

Sharon was expected to leave the hospital Friday morning for his Negev ranch, and return to his office either Sunday or Monday.

Sharon, 78, was taken to Hadassah Hospital from his office after suffering a mild stroke on Dec. 18.

Doctors said he would not suffer long-term effects from the stroke, but they discovered a birth defect in his heart that apparently contributed to the stroke.

The prime minister has been receiving blood thinners to prevent a recurrence of the clotting that caused the first stroke.