Former PM Ariel Sharon's Medical Condition Significantly Deteriorates

Sharon, 85, has been comatose since 2006 when he suffered a brain hemorrhage; source says if condition continues to decline, it is 'a matter of days.'

The medical condition of Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has significantly deteriorated, sources said on Wednesday.

Sharon, 85, is hospitalized in Tel Hashomer hospital in Tel Aviv, and has been comatose since January 4, 2006 when he suffered a brain hemorrhage.

He has been suffering in recent days from renal failure, but is not expected to undergo dialysis.

A source with knowledge of Sharon's condition said that if his situation continues to deteriorate, it is "a matter of days." The source said that Sharon's family is currently by his bed and holding consultations with medical staff. 

Sharon has been comatose in the hospital for the past eight years. He has been getting medical care and receiving fluids through a feeding tube.

Last September, Sharon underwent abdominal surgery to correct a problem in his intravenous feeding system. The operation, which lasted an hour, was planned several months prior.

In January, neurological scans demonstrated significant brain activity in Sharon's brain. During the two-hour fMRI scan conducted, researchers tested Sharon's response to various stimuli: family pictures, a recording of his son's voice, and human touch.

They said they were surprised to discover significant activity in relevant parts of his brain in response to all tests.