Comatose Ariel Sharon Heads Home

Ex-PM shows no signs of emerging from 5-year coma
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2010 5:04 AM CST
An ambulance that transported former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon parks next to his home on his ranch in southern Israel.   (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
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(Newser) – Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon is back home on his ranch after nearly 5 years in a secure hospital ward, still comatose and attached to a respirator. The former general, whose controversial leadership was ended by a series of strokes in early 2006, was taken from his hospital in Tel Aviv to his family ranch in southern Israel, AP reports. Sharon has been in what medical staff describe as a "limbo" state—uncommunicative, but responsive to basic stimuli and TV.

Doctors downplayed any suggestion that the 82-year-old former leader could make a significant recovery or even—as some of his more fervent supporters hope for—return to public life, reports Reuters. "Clearly what's behind this is the hope that his situation will get better. But the improvements that we talk about in such situations are not great improvements, not dramatic improvements," said a hospital chief.

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