A mother of an Israeli girl who died in infancy in October was awarded the medal of the nation on Tuesday.
The 16-year-old’s father said he was overwhelmed by the emotion when he saw her body at the morgue.
“She was like a child to me,” the father told Haaretz.
She had such a good face, she was so beautiful.
She was my little sister.”
The medal will be presented at the funeral of Naftali, who was born in a Jerusalem hospital in October.
“My daughter was so innocent,” said Naftalis’ mother, Shira Efrat, during a press conference in Tel Aviv, where the family had visited her daughter’s grave.
“She was so shy and shy, she always hid in her room.
She didn’t tell anybody, she didn’t even ask for a hug.
But I was sure she would live.
My heart is filled with gratitude.”
The girl’s father, Azzie Efrats, said his daughter was a quiet child who loved to read.
“It was always her dream to go to school, and I thought she would be so happy to do that, she would have so many people to hug, so many kisses,” he said.
But when Naftals mother, Yael Efratos, and his two younger siblings were growing up, they learned she had cerebral palsy.
“We couldn’t see the difference,” Efratt said.
“We were not even allowed to play together.
She never had a toy, and we were all ashamed of her,” he added.
The mother said she and her family never forgot the pain Naftalin had suffered, but were not able to understand how she had become such a strong, resilient child.
“I was always thinking of her, of the things she had done, but I couldn’t imagine what was going on in her mind,” she said.
Efrats said that her daughter was already struggling with her disability.
“Now I am trying to help her with it, to see if I can help her in any way,” she added.
“The pain is still there.
I will always remember Naftal, and she is a beautiful child who will always be in my heart.”