Dramatic news reported this afternoon by AP:
JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a massive stroke Wednesday and was on a respirator after falling ill at his ranch. Doctors operated to drain excess blood from his brain.
Powers were transferred to his deputy, Vice Premier Ehud Olmert.
Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, director of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, said Sharon suffered “a significant stroke,” adding that he was “under anesthetic and receiving breathing assistance.” A few minutes later, Mor-Yosef emerged to say that initial tests showed Sharon had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, or bleeding in his brain.
“It’s among the most dangerous of all types of strokes,” with half of victims dying within a month, said Dr. Robert A. Felberg, a neurologist at Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans. “Any time they give blood thinners to prevent clots there is a risk” that too much can cause a hemorrhage, he said.
Update: 0154am PST… via AFP:
“It’s very risky and he could die from the operation,” US neurologist Matthews Gwynn told CNN. “If he survives the operation he will have a number of days when he is in a coma, or stuporous, not really with it.
“We would be looking at weeks if not months before he would functioning close to normally.”
The response from the West, George, and most hopefully Condi, will be crucial in the coming days.