Israeli First Lady Receives New Lung from Teenage Donor

The Fellowship  |  March 13, 2019

Israeli First Lady sitting with husband as they smile out into the crowd.
Israeli First Lady Receives New Lung from Teenage Donor

President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama have devoted their lives to serving their beloved Israel and her people. And now, a miracle has come to them, thanks to God and one of his chosen people in the Holy Land. Ynet News tells us about the 19-year-old Israeli who drowned in Eilat but whose organs have saved seven lives, including the life of the nation’s first lady:

At 10pm on Sunday night, Nechama Rivlin, the wife of President Reuven Rivlin, got a phone call she had been waiting years for.

On the other end of the line was her doctor, Prof. Mordechai Kramer, head of Pulmonary Medicine at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva.

“Mrs. Rivlin, we have a lung for you,” he told her.

But one family’s joy was another’s tragedy – for the lung belonged to 19-year-old Yair Yechezkel Halbali, whose family donated his organs after he drowned in an accident in Eilat…

Mrs. Rivlin has for many years suffered from pulmonary fibrosis. In the past year, her condition deteriorated to the extent that she required an oxygen tank at all times. Despite her illness, she insisted on continuing with all her activities — cultivating the community garden at the President’s Residence, awarding the Firt Lady’s Prize for Israeli poetry, working with children with disabilities, and much more…

Aside from the first lady, Yair’s organs helped another six people to live.

“Yair loved the sea, loved nature, he loved to study and explore and broaden his horizons,” said his sister, Amit.

Last Wednesday, Yair traveled with a friend to Eilat for a week-long vacation of camping on the beach and free diving. He sent his family videos of fish and the sea and expressions of his delight. But on Friday, the beach holiday turned into a nightmare…