NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, February 26th 2008
By Matthew Kalman
Special to the News
JERUSALEM - Ariel Sharon turns 80 Tuesday and the family of the comatose, stroke-stricken former prime minister is now facing another tragedy as one of his sons heads off to prison.
Omri Sharon, the eldest son of the lionized military hero, begins a nine-month prison sentence tomorrow after the country's Supreme Court let stand his election finance fraud conviction.
Before he goes, Omri and his brother Gilad will visit their dad today along with their children.
Sharon remains in a vegetative state since he was felled by a massive stroke in January 2006.
He is in Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer, north of Tel Aviv. Two plainclothes officers from the Shin Bet secret service are on permanent 24-hour guard outside his door.
"There has been no recent change in his condition," said David Weinberg, a hospital spokesman.
Sharon is able to breathe without assistance but is fed through a tube. He could remain alive but unconscious for years, experts said.