Ephraim Rimmel, who was badly injured a month ago in an accident in Givat Ze’ev, in which his wife Tzipi and their infant daughter was killed, spoke about the moment he heard the news about his wife after two weeks of being unconscious on an interview with Channel 12 News.
“Everything is foggy from the time of the accident,” Efrain said. “I began to wake up on Shabbos in the morning and the doctor doing the rounds said to me: ‘Do you remember me? Do you remember the accident?’ And I said: ‘Actually not.'”
“A few hours later, I said to myself: ‘It’s a bit strange that Tzipi isn’t calling, isn’t sending me messages, isn’t saying anything.’ I said to myself: ‘Okay, she has five kids, she has what to be busy with. She’ll definitely show up or call later – in the middle of the day – she has things to do.'”
“That night, someone stayed with me and in the early hours of the morning I said to him: ‘Avi, bring me a phone.’ He didn’t know what to do with himself.”
At that point, the family realized that there was no way of hiding it anymore. “He said to me: ‘Listen, there was a terrible car accident and Tzipi didn’t survive – and I was in shock.”
Ephraim is currently paralyzed from his waist down and hasn’t yet seen his 12-year old son Itai, who remains unconscious in critical condition in the ICU. “Essentially I still haven’t seen him yet. I can’t exactly go up to him in the ICU in my condition..it isn’t the easiest. I think I’m afraid to see him.”
Ephraim is expected to be transferred soon to a rehabilitation center in anticipation of returning to his home and three children. “My 3-year-old son Harel said to me: ‘Abba, Ima is also here? After he said this, I said to myself: ‘I didn’t see him for a month. Maybe I’ll be lucky and I’ll see her also.'”
“Even if Tzippi isn’t here anymore, we still have a shared mission and that’s what spurs me on,” Ephraim added. “I think it will hit me the most the first time I’ll open the door when I arrive home.”
Ephraim’s three other children, who fortunately weren’t in the car when the accident occurred, are being cared for in their home by their grandparents, Tzipi’s parents, Yisrael and Ita Gantz.
The Gantzes are struggling under the burden of caring for three active children as they simultaneously grieve for their daughter, infant granddaughter and worry about their son-in-law and critically injured grandson.
Ephraim’s parents, who cared for the children in the first week when Tzipi’s parents were sitting shiva, are either by their son’s bedside, their grandson’s bedside, or trying to help the Gantzes care for the children.
The Neve Tzuf community, where the Rimmel family lives, initiated a mass online fundraising campaign for the current and future needs of the family. Besides the emotional needs of the three children at home, whose world has been shattered, the family home needs to be renovated to be handicapped accessible for Ephraim, who is expected to be paralyzed from the waist down for life. Furthermore, even when Ephraim does return home, he will require help to raise three children alone in his current state. https://www.jgive.com/new/en/ils/donation-targets/25894/about
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)