The organs of terror victim Lucy Dee were transplanted into five people on Tuesday, saving their lives, just hours before she was laid to rest.
Dee, 48, succumbed on Monday to wounds sustained in an April 7 terror attack that also killed her daughters Maia, 20, and Rina, 15.
Dee’s heart was donated to Lital Valenci, 51, a mother of two and former pro basketball player; her liver was given to a 25-year-old student from northern Israel; her kidneys went to two men, aged 39 and 58, respectively; and her lungs were transplanted into a 58-year-old woman.
The first four operations were conducted at the Beilinson Medical Center in Petach Tikvah, and the fifth at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan.
“Our hearts break for the Dee family, who suffered an unimaginable loss and yet during their darkest hour, thought about how Lucy could continue to help others by donating her organs so that these individuals can have a renewed sense of life,” said Beilinson Medical Center CEO Dr. Eytan Wirtheim.
“Organ donation is the ultimate gift of life for the recipients. It is one of the greatest gifts of charity and we are grateful to the family for helping renew the lives of our patients,” he added.
Rabbi Leo Dee, Lucy’s husband, explained the decision to donate her organs despite some Orthodox Jews considering the practice forbidden.
“Our rabbinical authority had checked out the halachot [Jewish laws] and explained to me that in her condition, it was perfectly acceptable—actually a mitzvah [religious commandment]. Only the bones and tendons should not be donated, and everything else that is lifesaving should be given,” he told The Times of Israel.
“Second, Lucy and I had discussed this before in the past, and the only reason we didn’t have [donation] cards was because we were worried that if we were abroad, and we had donation cards, that a hospital in England or Switzerland, for instance, might switch us off a little bit early in order to take organs in a non-halachic way,” he added.
“But in principle, she and I had no objection to giving organs,” he said.
Last month, the family of Or Eshkar, 32, who died on March 20 of a bullet wound sustained during a terror attack in Tel Aviv 11 days earlier, donated his organs, also to five people.
Also in March, the corneas of Israeli brothers Hallel and Yagal Yaniv, who were killed on Feb. 26 when a terrorist opened fire on them as they sat in traffic in the Arab village of Huwara in Samaria, were transplanted into four people.