Nechama Rivlin, the wife of Israel’s president Reuven Rivlin, passed away on Tuesday after undergoing a complex surgery three months ago and then slipping into a coma.
She was 73 years old and passed away just days before her 74th birthday.
Nechama underwent a complicated single lung transplant in March. She had been suffering from pulmonary fibrosis for several years and the transplant took place after a long period of waiting.
After exhibiting signs of recovery for several days after the surgery, her health deteriorated and she experienced severe shortness of breath due to cardiac complications. She was sedated and received respiratory aid in the cardio-thoracic intensive care unit.
In a statement, the President and his family thanked the staff of the Beilinson Hospital for the treatment Nechama received there.
The Rivlin family also thanked the citizens of Israel “who have not ceased to inquire about Nechama’s welfare, to send letters and moving drawings to the hospital and the President’s Residence, and to pray for her recovery day after day, hour after hour.”
The public outpouring of support “gave the president and the family strength and support indescribable in words,” the statement said.
Finally, the Rivlin thanked the Halbali family, which donated the lung of their late son Yair, “for their inspiring nobility and wonderful deed.”
Nechama Rivlin is expected to be buried on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem in the plot designated for the nations’ leaders and their families.