Nine months after the horrific terrorist attack in a park in the haredi city of Elad, Shimon Ma'atufHy"d succumbed to the serious wounds he sustained. He was 75 years old.
Ma'atuf had been employed as a security guard at an event in a park not far away from where the attacks occurred. When he heard screaming, he left his post and headed to where the attack was already underway. He succeeded in firing just one bullet at one of the two terrorists before he was set upon and viciously attacked with an axe. He sustained serious head wounds.
"He was unconscious, sedated and on a ventilator after the attack," his daughter Aviva told Radio 103FM. "Afterward, he was sent to rehab to be weaned off the ventilator, but then he got a lot worse and had to be sedated again.
"It was a complete miracle that he survived as long as he did, every minute of his life since the attack was a miracle," she added. "We knew, of course, that the situation was very serious. He wasn't able to communicate in any way and didn't respond to us either. They told us that he had severe head injuries, brain damage - they also smashed his jawbone with the axe. The doctors treated him immediately following the attack and put his face back together as far as was possible, but brain damage is brain damage."
Asked to recount something of the terrible night of the attack, Aviva said, "I was at home and my mother called me to tell me about the terrorist attack in Elad. I saw something on WhatsApp but I didn't connect it with the fact that my father was at work there at the time. But my mother told me that my father had been wounded so of course I rushed there as fast as I could. I live in Bareket, three minutes away from my mother's home. We didn't go to the scene of the attack - we went straight to Beilinson hospital.
"We didn't leave my father's side for an instant," she continued. "There was always someone there with him. That meant 24/7 when he was in hospital, even though there were visiting hours. There was always someone with him, during the week and on Shabbat too. We didn't leave him alone for a moment."