I’ve started this Biweekly update three times now and I keep starting over. Why? I’m not sure how actually communicate the incredible things happening this week or our soldiers who have lost their limbs. Several years ago we established a relationship with Dr. Jason Souza, a world renowned surgeon from Walter Reed Hospital who now is at Ohio State University. Dr. Souza began operating on members with the most difficult injuries and today we consider him a BFL partner. This week he flew to Israel with his family for three reasons:
1. To see if he could help almost a dozen of our soldiers suffering from amputations.
2. To operate side by side with top Israeli surgeons on two of our soldiers, including, our own BFL member Dr. Avi Avitan.
3. To experience Israel for the first time with his family with our BFL members.
Firstly, it’s a miracle our amputees have access to a surgeon of Dr. Souza’s caliber in Israel. (Thank you to our BFL leader Joel Spitz!) It’s a force multiplier that he is sharing his expertise and innovative surgery with Israeli surgeons. It’s so BFL that our relationship with Dr. Souza started as a professional one and quickly developed into something much more.
If I could share anything about this week it would be this: Most of our achim who are amputees have been through multiple surgeries and lived with chronic pain for years. Many of them have given up hope of a better physical life. This is not a small issue as it’s difficult to find hope when you have been disappointed so many times. But something happened this week that changed That. This week was about them seeing for the first time that life could actually be different and in seeing this Hope is alive in them again.
Lastly, as you all know it was a difficult week in Israel and seven of our soldiers were injured. One of the soldiers from the famed “Oketz”, K9 unit could tell there was something wrong with his dog and best friend, who refused to leave his side. The doctors discovered that his dog had broken his pelvis in the battle, and agreed to let the two lie side by side in the hospital as they recovered. It was touching to see.
We are all praying for peace right now, but please know, if there is a soldier injured in Israel, we will be there.