(March 11, 2019 / JNS) Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s wife, Nechama, 73, received a new lung on Monday after being matched with a donor: 19-year-old Yair Yehezkel Halabli, who drowned on Friday while diving in Eilat.
“Nechama Rivlin underwent a lung transplant today at Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikvah,” said the president’s spokesperson in a statement.
The spokesperson added that her condition was stable following the several-hour-long procedure.
Halabli’s sister, Amit, told the Israeli news site Walla that “it is very moving that my brother’s lung was transplanted into the body of the president’s wife, and I wish her a full recovery. We will be happy to meet with the president’s wife and the president after she has recovered from the operation.”
Rivlin, 73, has been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a respiratory disease in which scar tissue forms in the lungs, causing difficulty to breathe. In public, she usually carries an oxygen tank with her.