Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO
Israeli president Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama on the train from New York to Washington DC, on December 08, 2015.

Israeli First Lady Nechama Rivlin regained consciousness Tuesday morning following her surgery for a single lung transplant a day earlier at Beilinson Medical Center in Petach Tikvah.

“This morning, Nechama was disconnected from the respirator,” said a spokesperson from the official presidential residence in Jerusalem. “She is awake and talking to the medical team and to her family.

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“Her doctors at Beilinson Hospital stress that the early days following a transplant operation are still considered critical, but they are very satisfied with her progress,” he said. “They also noted that it is important to remember that there is a long recuperation after a transplant operation.”

Lung transplants are life-saving operations that allow patients with terminal pulmonary disease to resume a full life without depending on an external oxygen supply. Lung transplants can involve a single lung, two lungs or lungs and heart together, dependent on the patient’s disease and physical state.

All transplants in Israel (around 60 a year) are carried out at Beilinson, and the outcomes are in line with the leading medical centers in the world. The rate of success is extremely high, at around 90%. So far, over 700 lung transplants and dozens of heart-lung transplants have been performed at Beilinson.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.