President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin on Wednesday morning went to see his wife Nechama at Beilinson Hospital, immediately upon his return from a state visit to Canada. The first lady is stable and is sedated and receiving respiratory aid in the cardio-thoracic intensive care unit.
President Rivlin thanked the medical staff and the many people who have expressed their concern and prayers from all across the country and the world, and said “I have just visited my wife Nechama, and I am very encouraged. Nechama had a cardiac condition that has been treated and I very much hope that when she wakes up she will be able to return to the recuperation she began immediately after the transplant. The long hours of the flight back from my visit Canada to Israel were deeply worrying, but I know that my Nechama, our Nechama, is a very strong woman. She is the world’s best mother and grandmother and has also been a public servant over the past five years in many fields of Israeli society. She has received the most wonderful appreciation and support possible for that work.”
He added, “I want to thank you for that support. It crosses all boundaries, comes from all ages, all views across the spectrum and proves to us time after time the strength of our people. The children and I have felt that unceasing support since the moment she went to hospital and it moves us and gives us strength again and again.”
Speaking about the medical care Nechama is receiving, the president said, “We have no words for the medical care that Nechama has received over the last weeks. The wonderful team at Beilinson Hospital is an outstanding example of first-class public healthcare and we are deeply grateful to them. There is still a long road to recovery, we know, but Nechama will be back on it and we feel everyone’s support with us at every moment. Thank you so very much.”
Director of Rabin Medical Center Dr. Eytan Wirtheim said: “In recent years, Mrs. Rivlin has suffered from pulmonary insufficiency and has required increasing medicinal treatment and oxygen support. Lung transplant is the last option for dealing with and treating this condition, and for regaining quality of life and functionality.
“She underwent complex preparation for the operation and on March 9 she underwent the procedure after a suitable donor was found. Post-operative progress was complicated and lengthy but Mrs Rivlin is a strong woman and highly motivated to recover. Together with the support of her family, she did everything required to improve her the lung function in the transplanted organ and to regain physical strength.
“Unfortunately, last night she had a serious cardiac incident caused by weakness in one of the valves in her heart. She was diagnosed quickly and treated quickly. I want to thank Prof Danny Aravot and the intensive care unit team who did everything possible and necessary as quickly as possible. This morning, the echocardiogram results this morning show a marked improvement in heart function and physiological readings. We must, of course, continue to monitor over the next hours and days and we hope she returns to the state she was in over the last week or two.”