Warren Jeffs, the jailed Texas polygamist leader, is in a hospital in a coma and may not survive.

Jeffs was rushed to a hospital Sunday after several days on a hunger strike at a facility near Palestine, Texas, a prison spokesman told the Salt Lake Tribune.

ABC News reported that Jeffs, 55, became so weak from the fast that doctors at the Texas prison induced a coma.

Jeffs is the leader of a polygamist splinter sect of Mormonism known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was sentenced to life in prison earlier this month for his spiritual marriage to two young girls.

The Texas Department of Corrections confirmed Monday that Jeffs was on temporary medical release, but gave no further details.

Jeffs' polygamist sect was thrown into the spotlight in 2008 when Texas police raided a large compound near El Dorado and seized more than 400 young children as a result of allegations of systemic sexual and physical abuse.

The children were returned to their parents shortly when a court ruled that child welfare officials had overstepped their authority.

Authorities did recover documents showing that Jeffs took 78 wives, of whom 24 were underage.