Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon -- who has been in a coma for nearly five years -- was moved to his ranch home from an Israeli hospital Friday.
The former prime minister has been situated at his ranch in the Negev Desert with elevators and other equipment to foster long-term care at his home, the New York Times reported. He will return to Sheba Medical Center to be monitored after several days off site, and will return home on a trial basis.
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Sharon suffered a mild ischemic stroke on Dec. 18, 2005, and was hospitalized for two days. While hospitalized, it was discovered the prime minister had a patent foramen ovale, which was supposed to be treated through a catheter-based procedure in early January 2006.
Sharon suffered a second, major hemorrhagic stroke at Hadassah Hospital just prior to the procedure to treat the ovale; he had been given a blood thinner following the first stroke.
The use of blood thinner caused much controversy in the case, as Israeli journalists charged that the drug's use likely exacerbated the stroke.
Officials from Hadassah Hospital fired back against the journalists, claiming their conclusions were unwarranted and based on half-truths.
Sharon has remained in a coma since the second stroke.
Following the second stroke, U.S. neurologists noted that one in three major hemorrhagic stroke patients die within 30 days. They also pointed out that if the former prime minister were to recover, he would most likely be severely impaired mentally and physically.