The ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Shira Roth, 21, of Ma’aleh Adumim, died on Thursday of unknown causes while traveling with friends in Peru on a post-army jaunt.
Roth was hiking in the country’s Huaraz region and fell ill, her parents, Hillel and Avia, told The Jerusalem Post. She died aboard a bus bound for Lima where she was going to see a doctor. Israeli Embassy staffers in Lima were working over the weekend to bring Roth’s body back to Israel for burial.
According to her parents, Roth had been hiking near Huarascán National Park, home to Peru’s tallest mountain, at an elevation of 4,800 meters, and felt ill from the thin air. She sent her mother a WhatsApp message on Wednesday saying that she felt her body was collapsing from the lack of oxygen, and that she was going to die. Another message a few hours later from one of Roth’s traveling companions confirmed her death.
Roth had spent four months traveling around South America following her release from the IDF. She had planned to return to Israel next week.
On Friday, the Roth home in Ma’aleh Adumim was crowded with friends of Shira, and the family’s other two daughters. The siblings had prepared collages of their sister, and were watching film clips of her life on a computer.
The shocked parents, unable to sit shiva or say kaddish until after the funeral, were surrounded by family, friends and neighbors. All of them were spending a mournful Sabbath waiting for Roth’s final journey home.