Shimon Peres suffers stroke; sedated and on respirator for medical treatment


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Former Israeli President Shimon Peres was hospitalized after having a stroke.

Peres’ office said in a statement Tuesday evening that the 93-year-old statesman “is stable and fully conscious.”

The office later announced that Peres’ doctors decided to sedate him and put him on a respirator as he undergoes medical treatment. Israel’s Channel 1 reported that his condition was changed to serious.

Peres, 93, was taken to Sheba Medical Center in Tel HaShomer near Tel Aviv after telling his doctor that he felt weak.

The doctor had successfully implanted a pacemaker for Peres a week ago. Peres was diagnosed in July with atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm.

In January, Peres had a heart attack and then cardiac angioplasty to open a blocked artery. He was hospitalized twice more with chest pains.

In an interview in January with JTA, just days before his heart attack, Peres said he was busier than ever, including his work with the Peres Center for Peace, which he founded.

A month earlier, social media was flooded with rumors that Peres had died, leading him to take to Facebook to declare that rumors of his demise were greatly exaggerated.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted: “I wish former president Shimon Peres speedy recovery. Shimon, we love you, and the entire nation prays for your recovery.”

Netanyahu’s office said in a statement that the prime minister spoke with the director of Sheba Medical Center and was updated on Peres’ condition. Netanyahu conveyed the prayers of the entire nation for a quick recovery, according to the statement.

Peres, who retired as president of Israel in 2014 after more than half a century in public life, including a stint as prime minister, won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the late Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat.

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