88-year-old Holocaust Survivor From Jerusalem Is Israel's First Coronavirus Fatality

Arie Even is survived by four children, 18 grandchildren and one great-grandson

Nir Hasson
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Arie Even.
Arie Even.Credit: Courtesy of the family
Nir Hasson

An 88-year-old Jerusalem resident died on Friday of COVID-19, making him Israel's first fatality of the coronavirus outbreak.

Arie Even lived in an assisted living home that has seen several coronavirus cases in recent days. 

He was a Holocaust survivor who immigrated to Israel alone in 1949 from Hungary. He and his wife, Yona, were sent by the Foreign Ministry to several of Israel's overseas diplomatic missions as part as his service as a public servant.

Even is survived by four children, 18 grandchildren and one great-grandson.  

"He was a beloved and dear man, lived a full life, was dedicated to his family, and showed strength until his very last moments," Arie's son said in a statement.

"We lament that he had to spend his last moment without his family by his side. We would like to thank the medical staff at Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Medical Center for their devoted treatment and the empathy they demonstrated," the statement read. 

The Health Ministry said that Even suffered from other underlying illnesses, and had arrived at Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Medical Center about a week ago in critical condition. He also experienced a cardiac event during the week, for which he needed CPR. The ministry added that Even's condition deteriorated within several hours and the doctors pronounced him dead. 

Earlier on Saturday, the ministry that an additional 178 people have been diagnosed with the disease, raising the tally of confirmed coronavirus cases to 883, with the vast majority of them mild and 36 recoveries.

Fifteen of the patients are in serious condition and 19 are in moderate condition. 

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