A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Monday, January 09, 2006

AFP: Israel's Sharon breathing unaided, moves limbs

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was breathing unaided and moved his right limbs during tests but doctors said it was too soon to assess the brain damage from his massive stroke.

The latest medical report plotted the most significant developments in the 77-year-old leader's condition since he was wired up to a life support machine after a huge brain haemorrhage and three operations.

Doctors started Monday to slowly wake Sharon from a medically induced coma to assess what long-term damage his brain had sustained from the stroke, although medics have doubted he will ever return to his duties.

"We carried out pain stimulus tests which involve pressure," said Professor Shlomo Mor Yosef, director of the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem where Sharon is being treated.

"In the stimulus, we noted that the prime minister, Ariel Sharon, slightly moved his right arm and right leg.

"It was a very clear reaction to pain ... These movements changed and became more and more significant the more we lowered the sedation," he said.

After days of uncertainty, doctors have appeared more confident they can save his life but warned his condition will not allow him to absorb the stresses of leading the Jewish state.