Health of First Lady deteriorates

President Reuven Rivlin cuts short his state visit to Canada, returning to Israel following sudden deterioration in his wife's health.

Elad Benari ,

Nechama Rivlin and Reuven Rivlin
Nechama Rivlin and Reuven Rivlin
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

President Reuven Rivlin is cutting short his state visit to Canada and is returning to Israel following a sudden deterioration in his wife Nechama’s health.

For the last few hours, Nechama has been sedated and is on respiratory support because of severe shortness of breath due to cardiac complications. When the president lands in Israel on Wednesday morning, he will go to Beilinson Hospital to be at her side.

About two weeks ago, Nechama underwent a complicated lung transplant operation because of her medical condition. Since then, she has been undergoing a long and complex process of recovery.

The First Lady required the transplant due to pulmonary fibrosis from which she had been suffering for years.

The lung came from 19-year-old Yair Yehezkel Halbali, who died in a tragic diving accident near the city of Eilat.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday evening, "I wish, together with all the citizens of Israel, a complete recovery to the wife of the President, Nechama Rivlin."