On Sunday, 22nd January, 18 seriously injured soldiers arrived in London for a week long rehabilitative break.
Apart from meeting the community in London & making so many friends, the highlight of the trip was the amazing Shabbat lunch, attended by almost 400 people & the trip to the Emirates stadium to see Arsenal play and to meet the players too. Yossi Benayoun, Arsenal & Israel midfielder was so impressed with meeting the group, that after the game he rushed from he stadium to Heathrow airport in order to say goodbye to his new friends.
Kindly funded by a number of patrons of One Family, the group were hosted at The Grove Hotel just outside London and visited the sights of London.
The aim of the trip was to give a little respite to the ongoing treatments the soldiers must continue, many of them facing a long and painful journey ahead.
The group consisted of the following:
Lidor was severely injured while serving in the IDF during the 2nd Lebanon War in August 2006. He was hit by shrapnel in his neck – a piece entered through the right side and cut his esophagus as it ripped through. His vocal chords were damaged and he lost part of his left lung as well. He speaks and understands English passably, and is currently studying at the Open University.
Guy had asked for leave to celebrate his 20th birthday in March 2010, and was turned down. He was injured in a military anti-terror operation on his birthday. He suffered shrapnel injuries to his upper chest. Guy speaks and understands English passably.
Gal served in a Nahal anti-terror unit, and was injured in the shooting attack along the Egyptian border north of Eilat on August 18, 2011. Since that time, he experiences a lot of pain walking, and requires the use of a wheelchair part of the time. This is his first trip abroad.
Chagai is a combat engineering soldier who was injured in the shooting attack along the Egyptian border north of Eilat on August 18, 2011. He suffered irreparable damage to his right elbow and has been suffering from depression ever since. Chagai understands English well, but speaks only a little
Liel was a Golani soldier who suffered serious head injuries during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in January 2009. He understands and speaks only a little English
Sagi lives in Beer Sheva and comes from a poor family. He was injured in the shooting attack along the Egyptian border north of Eilat on August 18, 2011, during his military service. Since the attack, his hand does not function. He speaks and understands English passably.
Albert lives in Beer Sheva. He was injured in a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv in August 2011 when a terrorist rammed a stolen car into a group of Border Police soldiers. He does not speak or understand English well.
Carmel was critically injured in combat during the Second Lebanon War, while serving in the armored corps. His leg was amputated as a result, and he requires a wheelchair, though he does walk with crutches. Carmel speaks and understands English passably. He is currently studying business administration
Netanel was injured in a rocket attack on Beer Sheva in August 2011, and had his right leg amputated as a result. His left leg was seriously injured as well, and suffers from a lack of sensation. He still has shrapnel in his leg. He is confined to a wheelchair. He speaks and understands English passably, and also speaks Persian. He served as a simulator technician in the Israel Air Force
Dotan was a lone soldier from Sweden who comes from a broken family. He suffered injuries to his legs and post-trauma during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, while serving in the combat engineering corps. Dotan speaks and understands English well. He is currently studying law.
Din was seriously injured in the Mavi Marmara attack on Israeli naval soldiers on May 31, 2010. He suffered injuries to his eyes. He understands and speaks English well, and also speaks Russian.
Ziv was injured in combat during the Second Lebanon War, on August 11 2006 (the day before his 20th birthday), while a member of the Golani brigade. His leg was critically injured and as a result of the surgery he had, his condition worsened, and he is now awaiting amputation. He has been confined to a wheelchair ever since, although he can stand on one leg with a crutch. Ziv understands and speaks English well, and also speaks Persian. He is currently a student at the Technion.
Avraham was injured in combat during the Second Lebanon War in the Summer of 2006. He has 7 siblings aged 20-40. His hobbies include football, and other sports. He sustained injuries to his hand and has difficulty functioning.