Osnat Ben Shitrit, 32, and her fetus die of COVID-19

“What will I do without you,” her husband said at her funeral on Sunday. She leaves behind four children.

THE HADASSAH-UNIVERSITY Medical Center campus is seen in Ein Kerem. (photo credit: MOSHE SHAI/FLASH90)
THE HADASSAH-UNIVERSITY Medical Center campus is seen in Ein Kerem.
(photo credit: MOSHE SHAI/FLASH90)
Osnat Ben Shitrit, 32, and her fetus died of COVID-19 late Saturday night after receiving treatment at Jerusalem’s Hadassah-University Medical Center, the hospital reported Sunday morning.
“My daughter was plucked from us in her 30s with four children,” her mother Roni Siani, told Channel 13. “She was a flower.”
Ben Shitrit, a haredi resident of Givat Ze’ev, was admitted to the hospital last Tuesday when she began experiencing respiratory distress. Her condition quickly deteriorated until she suffered from multisystem organ failure.
A multidisciplinary medical team made efforts to treat her, including performing prolonged resuscitation efforts, the hospital said. The 30-week-old fetus she was carrying was delivered via emergency C-section in an effort to save it.
Despite the mother being hooked up to an ECMO machine and the heroic work of the staff, they ultimately both died. She had no underlying medical conditions.
Ben Shitrit was laid to rest Sunday afternoon at Har Hamenuhot Cemetery in Jerusalem.
During the funeral, her husband and children cried over her body and eulogized her.
“You were a woman of valor,” said her husband,Yehudah. “A week ago, you told me that you dreamed you saw your funeral… I ask your forgiveness. I love you. I promise I will take care of our children... What will I do without you?”
He asked his late wife to pray for their family from heaven.
The Hadassah staff members were very emotional over the loss, the hospital said.
“The whole Hadassah team shares in the heavy grief of the family,” it said in a statement.
Last week, a 25-week-old fetus died at Samson Assuta Ashdod University Hospital after contracting COVID-19 from his mother. The fetus had contracted the virus via what is known as vertical transmission, meaning it was actually passed from mother to baby via the placenta.
This was the first fetus to die in such a way in Israel.
According to  Prof. Arnon Wiznitzer, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva, to date, in only 1% to 3% of cases worldwide has a pregnant mother directly passed on the virus to her baby.
The country opened up vaccination to pregnant women  last month after it became clear that the third wave of coronavirus is striking younger people.
More than 2,500 pregnant women were hospitalized with COVID-19 in January, and a plethora of babies have been delivered preterm while their mothers struggled to survive in intensive-care units.
Currently, there are 50 pregnant women or women who recently gave birth who are hospitalized with the virus, including 10 in critical condition.  
In previous waves, pregnant women were not considered high risk for serious cases of coronavirus.
Health experts believe the increase in young people catching coronavirus is tied to the British mutation. Genetic sequencing of several pregnant Israeli women revealed they were infected with the variant.
Earlier this month, when Emek Medical Center in Afula had three pregnant women in serious condition at the same time, the head of its Labor and Delivery ward, Dr. Raed Salim, called on women to get vaccinated.
“I recommend pregnant women and women planning to get pregnant to get vaccinated against coronavirus soon,” he said.
Dr. Ortal Neeman, Samson Assuta Ashdod University Hospital’s director of maternal fetal medicine, on Sunday said: “The dilemma over whether to get vaccinated is understandable but unjustified. To date, no women have been diagnosed with coronavirus in Israel after a second vaccination.”
She called on women to “take care of yourselves and your fetuses. Any deliberation entails an unnecessary possibility of infection.”
Ben Shitrit's family said that she was hesitant to vaccinate due to misinformation she received through social networks.