Three days after regaining conciousness and being taken off the respirator, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was once again anesthetized by his doctors at Hadassah University Hospital on Sunday afternoon, and is no longer breathing autonomously.
"As we said in the beginning when we removed the breathing tubes, it will take several days to assess whether the rabbi has the strength and is in a condition to breathe without a respirator," said Prof. Dan Gilon, the cardiologist treating Shas' spiritual leader. "Over the last two days there have been ups and downs regarding the possibility of renewing artificial respiration."
Yosef was taken off the respirator, which had been helping him breathe, on Thursday, one day after he regained full consciousness.
At a press briefing at 4:30 P.M. Gilon told reporters that the 93-year-old rabbi was breathing autonomously, even saying that he was "relaxed." But according to the rabbi's son Rabbi David Yosef, at around 7 P.M. doctors once again anesthetized his father and put him on a respirator, a state in which he had been for a week and a half.
Gilon said that a new infection had been discovered in the nonagenarian's blood. "Throughout his hospitalization, the rabbi was found to be somewhat susceptible to infection," he said. "Regarding the question of whether there is a substantial deterioration concerning the infection, the answer is no. There is currently one infection."
Antibiotic treatment was selected on Saturday and the rabbi remains in a stable condition, the doctor said, explaining that Sunday's developments were within the range of expectations. However, he also stressed that the rabbi's recovery is not certain.
"Is the rabbi's life in danger? Yes, the rabbi with his illnesses and his age is in mortal danger," Gilon said, adding, "We get the impression that he does not face any immediate danger. However, we should always remember that he is gravely ill and that his life is danger."
Yosef was hospitalized just over two weeks ago with a host of medical problems, including kidney failure, heart problems, blood pressure problems and infections.