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Peres ‘doing great’ after hospitalization for heart issues

Former prime minister and president, 92, suffers mild cardiac arrhythmia a week after a minor heart attack

Former Israeli president Shimon Peres speaks to the media upon his release from Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan on January 19, 2016. (Flash90)
Former Israeli president Shimon Peres speaks to the media upon his release from Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan on January 19, 2016. (Flash90)

A doctor treating 92-year-old former President Shimon Peres said Monday that he is “doing great” after spending the night in a hospital.

Peres was hospitalized after complaining of chest pains on Sunday night, just over a week after suffering a mild heart attack.

Paramedics dispatched to his home determined the former statesman suffered a mild cardiac arrhythmia.

Peres’s personal physician, Raphi Walden, told Army Radio that Peres’s heart rate had returned to normal. He said it wasn’t immediately clear when Peres would be discharged.

On January 14, Peres was rushed to Tel Hashomer Hospital after complaining of chest pains. On discovering that he had a narrowed artery, doctors performed cardiac catheterization and kept him in the hospital for observation and tests for five days.

When he left the Ramat Gan hospital, Peres issued a short statement thanking the medical and nursing teams, and saying their treatment reminded him of the “spirit of the founder of Tel Hashomer, who said that everyone was equal and that you had to treat the patient not the illness — to treat the people themselves.”

Peres had been scheduled to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week, but canceled the trip at his doctor’s recommendation.

Peres, now retired, had a 55-year political career, most recently as Israel’s president from 2007 to 2014. He remains active through his non-governmental Peres Center for Peace, which promotes coexistence between Arabs and Jews. Considered the last surviving member of Israel’s founding fathers, he served as prime minister twice — from 1984 to 1986 as part of a rotational government, and for a few months in 1995 and 1996 after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. He spent most of his career in the Labor Party.

Several weeks ago, rumors flooded the Internet that Peres, who has remained active despite his age, had died. A spokesman quashed the claims, poking fun at the reports.

“Shimon Peres would like to clarify that he is alive and well,” a statement from his office said. “The only thing preoccupying him at this moment is his dinner.”

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