A Jewish mother is currently fighting for her life after she attempted to save her baby from drowning in the US Virgin Islands on Wednesday.
Henya Federman and her family were sent by Chabad to St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands 17 years ago to build the Chabad Lubavitch of the Virgin Islands, according to Chabad.org. They were out by the docks when their youngest, a 4-month-old baby Shertna Sarah, fell out of Henya's arms and into the water near the Oasis Cove Marina.
"Every person that I've been in contact with in the last couple of days can't stop talking about Henya being the most beautiful person, always smiling, always kind, always giving from herself to others. Never thinking about herself."Dvorkie Shmotkin, Henya's sister-in-law
Both Henya and her husband, Rabbi Asher, jumped into the water to try and save her. Rabbi Asher was able to get out, but Henya had to be pulled out, unconscious, and resuscitated. She has been put on life support and is currently fighting for her life.
How did Henya end up on the US Virgin Islands?
"Every person that I've been in contact with in the last couple of days can't stop talking about Henya being the most beautiful person, always smiling, always kind, always giving from herself to others. Never thinking about herself," Henya's sister-in-law, Dvorkie Shmotkin, told local Milwaukee news, TMJ4.
TMJ4 showed video footage of a student at Bader Hillel Academy handing out pennies to other students for them to perform the mitzvah of tzedakah in Henya's name.
"We believe very strongly, we say, 'think good and it should be good.' And it will be good," Shmotkin told TMJ4. "That's what we're thinking right now."
"People are good people," she continued. "It makes us feel that the world is a really good world and people are good and they want to do good. And we see it now, unfortunately in this time and we hope that we'll see it again."
"To refer to the Federman's as a 'family in crisis' is an understatement," a close family member told Chabad.org. "Yet, from the first moment, we were surrounded and uplifted by your love, mitzvos, Torah study, prayer, faith and good wishes on behalf of Henya and her family - literally from all corners of the globe."
A fundraiser has been set up in order to raise money to help the Federman family.