Monday, December 19, 2005

Sharon suffers mild stoke

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a mild stroke Sunday, but his condition quickly improved and his doctor said he was expected to be released from the hospital after a few days. Sharon aides said he was lucid and in control of the government.

The prime minister never lost consciousness and was talking and joking with his family hours after arriving at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital, doctors said. He was treated with blood thinners and suffered no damage from the stroke, said his personal physician, Boleslaw Goldman.

"He's lucid, he's fully functional," Sharon aide Raanan Gissin said.

Sharon, 77 and very overweight, has been a fixture of Israeli politics for more than three decades. His illness came a little more than three months before he was to lead his new Kadima Party into national elections, and his illness could hamper his efforts to finish building the nascent centrist faction, which has a commanding lead in the polls.

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