Cardiologist Prof. Dan Gilon, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's physician in Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, updated on Wednesday afternoon that the rabbi has regained full consciousness.
"He sleeps a lot, but he is fully conscious," Prof. Gilon said. "He is still hooked to respiration apparatus, but is far less dependent on it."
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Prof. Gilon termed the improvement as more significant than the "minor improvements" of the last few days: "We should remember this is a sick, elderly man and that's always worrying, but it's good to see improvement. He does not speak, as he is still attached to a respirator, but he understands a lot of what is happening around him. We're carefully optimistic."
Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri commented on Wednesday on Rabbi Yosef's medical improvement and said: "His condition continues to improve, thank God. The prayers help, but there's no room for complacency."
Deri added: "The situation is still very serious and we ask all the people of Israel to continue praying."
Rabbi David Yosef, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's son, told Ynet: "Father is still at risk, but this is a miracle, and with God's help, the beginning of an even bigger miracle. This should just spur the public to keep on praying. One of the doctors visited the room and told me, 'I've no doubt by next week you'll be able to receive a blessing from the rabbi.'"
A source close to Rabbi Yosef added: "God is smiling upon us and we will continue to pray that that smile will widen. The feelings are of intense, though subdued, joy. The rabbi is still in great pain and he's in for a long and difficult medical procedure."
Earlier on Wednesday, improvement in the rabbi's condition was reported, as well as his coming out of the induced coma he has been under since last week.
In an interview with the Kol Barama haredi radio station, Prof. Gilon elaborated and said the rabbi opened his eyes, has regained hearing, and is responsive to his surroundings.
The cardiologist was optimistic that the rabbi did not sustain any brain damage since his condition deteriorated, and did not completely rule out the possibility that one day the rabbi could leave the hospital and return home.
"The good bout got better and we're all happy about it," Prof. Gilon concluded, warning that despite the good news, the 93-year-old rabbi's condition was still serious.
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