Veteran nurse dies of COVID-19, the first victim among Israel’s medical workers
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Veteran nurse dies of COVID-19, the first victim among Israel’s medical workers

Suzy Levi, 65, who worked for over four decades at Sheba Medical Center, passes away less than 2 weeks after her sister succumbs to illness; staff holds minute of silence for her

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Screen capture from video of medical staff at the Sheba Medical Center observing a minute of silence for Suzy Levi, a nurse at the hospital who died of COVID-19, April 27, 2020. (Ynet)
Screen capture from video of medical staff at the Sheba Medical Center observing a minute of silence for Suzy Levi, a nurse at the hospital who died of COVID-19, April 27, 2020. (Ynet)

A veteran nurse who worked for decades at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan died of COVID-19 overnight on Sunday, becoming the first among the country’s medical workers to pass away due to the disease.

Suzy Levi, 65, became ill with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, a month ago.

Staff at Sheba, including doctors and nurses, held a minute of silence at 11 a.m. Monday in her honor.

Medical staff at the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot and the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera also observed the minute of silence, the Ynet website reported.

Levi’s family said in a statement that they are in “pain and shock at the premature passing of Suzy, who was the pillar of the family. Mom stubbornly continued to work even though she should have retired, and that characterizes her endless giving and caring until her last day.”

Joint List party MK Ahmad Tibi, who is a medial doctor, tweeted his condolences to the family.

“She gave to and helped others,” Tibi wrote. “May her memory be blessed.”

Levi’s death came less than two weeks after that of her sister, Ahuva, who passed away from the virus in the northern city of Tiberias.

Levi had worked as a nurse at Sheba for 46 years in various units, most recently in the ear, nose and throat department.

She had been sedated and connected to a ventilator for 28 days after contracting the disease. A source at Sheba told Ynet that due to her sedation, Levi was unaware that her sister had died.

Levi is survived by her husband and two sons.

Dozens of medical staff have contracted the disease as they treat COVID-19 patients, and thousands more have gone into self-quarantine over concerns that they may have been exposed to the virus without adequate protection.

As of Monday, there have been 15,466 cases of the coronavirus diagnosed in the country, of which 6,796 have recovered, according to Health Ministry figures. There have been 202 deaths and 96 people are connected to ventilators.

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