Two married Israelis have died of coronavirus within a week of each other, compounding the tragedy for their family amid accusations a hospital may not have done enough to protect them from infection.
Danny Avrahami of Bat Yam, 80, died a week ago at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon. His wife Julia died Friday at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital. The couple had been married since 2003.
Avrahami’s daughter Shifra Arshadi said her father had celebrated his 80th birthday in early March alongside family and had been relatively healthy. But a health issue that sent him to Wolfson days later may have led to both his and Julia’s infection and deaths.
“On Thursday three weeks ago they called me from the assisted living facility and told me dad wasn’t feeling well and he was being taken to Wolfson,” she said. He stayed for several days until he was released, but apparently not before contracting conronavirus at the hospital. A day after he was discharged from the hospital, a patient at the department where he had stayed was diagnosed with the virus.
Three days after returning home Avrahami began feeling unwell, and his wife Julia soon followed. His daughter took him back to the hospital, where the doctor took a look at his file, saw where he had stayed and immediately put him into quarantine, suspecting coronavirus infection.
“Julia and I also entered self-quarantine. Four days later Julia was also hospitalized at Ichilov,” Arshadi recounted.
A friend of Julia’s quoted by Channel 12 said, “Dear, noble, warm Julia, the most loyal friend I could have asked for, closed her eyes exactly a week after her husband left her.
“Over the past week I was with her from afar because of quarantine, trying to encourage her to fight, but it’s over. I’m sorry my dear that you left us this way, without a helping or supporting hand.”
Avrahami’s daughter accused hospital officials of failing to take necessary precautions as the virus was beginning to spread throughout the country and hospitals. She said her father was not given basic protection such as a mask despite suffering from lung disease, thus making him particularly at risk from the virus.
“When they took him for an x-ray there was no separation between those suspected of being coronavirus patient and regular patients,” Arshadi claimed.
However Arshadi praised hospital staff for their treatment of her father after his diagnosis with the virus. She lamented not being able to be beside his during his final hours due to his quarantine. “I’m living with intense guilt for not being able to be with him during his final moments,” she said.
Wolfson Medical Center rejected accusations of negligence, noting that Avrahami was released from the hospital before a coronavirus sufferer was diagnosed in his department, while noting that hospitalization occurred at the early stages of the pandemic’s spread in Israel.
It further said it was “impossible to know the source of infection, who was the original [patient], when and where they caught it.”