Former Israeli president Shimon Peres saw “real improvement” on Thursday but remained in serious condition after suffering a major stroke two days earlier.
“There is another real improvement today,” Peres’s personal physician and son-in-law Rafi Walden said, describing his condition as serious but stable.
He said it was likely his condition would remain that way for the coming days.
Peres, 93, remained in intensive care and was breathing with the help of a respirator, but was still able to respond to prompts as he had the previous day.
After feeling unwell during lunch on Tuesday, Peres was rushed to the hospital in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan for medical tests. Initial blood tests revealed a chemical imbalance. After further tests, at around 7 p.m. aides and a nurse attending to him noticed a deterioration in his usually gregarious interaction with those around him.
He said his head hurt, causing the medical team to suspect a stroke. He was given a CT scan at 8 p.m. that confirmed internal bleeding in the brain.
The “massive intracranial hemorrhage” occurred in the middle of a typically busy day for the nonagenarian, who turned 93 on August 2 but has remained active in public life after a seven-decade career as a politician.
Peres is the elder statesman of Israeli politics, one of the country’s most admired symbols and the last surviving link to its founding fathers.
Over a seven-decade career, he’s held virtually every senior political office, including two stints as prime minister and extended terms as foreign, defense and finance minister. He won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in reaching an interim peace agreement with the Palestinians.
Long a divisive personality in Israeli politics, Peres finally became one of Israel’s most popular public figures in his later years.
Earlier this month, Peres underwent surgery to receive an artificial pacemaker after he was diagnosed with an abnormal heart rhythm in July following a series of minor health scares.
The implant was recommended by Peres’s doctors, including personal physician Walden, after he was diagnosed in July with atrial fibrillation.
He suffered a mild heart attack in January and underwent a cardiac angioplasty to open a blocked artery. He had been hospitalized twice after suffering chest pains.