IDF soldiers take part in Operation Protective Edge..
(photo credit: ANNA GOLIKOV)
Ohad Ben-Yishai, a soldier severely injured in Operation Protective Edge in 2014, received a specially engineered bicycle developed by Elbit Systems which will allow him to ride again and a specially engineered piano which will allow him to play piano again, Channel 13 reported.
Ben-Yishai was injured during the deadliest battle in Protective Edge in Shejaia, during which thirteen soldiers from the Golani brigade were killed.
"How much can the bicycle help with your rehabilitation?" Channel 13 host Eli Rachlin asked Ben-Yishai in an interview.
"A lot. A lot," Ben-Yishai replied.
"I believe that you can't buy happiness, but you can buy a bike. It's almost the same thing. I think that essentially, returning to ride will bring Ohad a lot of happiness, even more so than the benefit for his rehabilitation," explained Shimon Ben-Yishai, the wounded ex-soldier's father said. "Riding definitely helps with rehabilitation."
"Being able to ride again independently increases his ability a lot, and will allow us to ride together again, to do a lot of things together with the bikes," Shimon said.
The two engineering projects were organized by the "Makers for Heroes" project, a joint project by "Restart" and "Tikun Olam Makers," organizations which help those injured in war to return to a regular lifestyle.
"Did you ever believe that you would get to the point that you and Ohad could do these sport activities together?" Rachlin asked Shimon in the interview.
"Honestly it was hard to believe in those moments that we would ever get to a time like this. At the time the situation seemed extremely difficult and dark. Especially with the prognosis that they gave us," Shimon responded. "But I think throughout the long time since then, we met many good people and many incredible organizations here in our nation, in our society, who were ready to help and do things like this. Without them we wouldn't be able to do this."
"I'm talking about, for example, the development team of Elbit who helped with the development of the bicycle or the development team of AT&T who developed the piano and of course Restart, the organization which connected everything and did all of this. I think without them we couldn't have done any of this. This is really something amazing," Shimon said.
When asked what dream Ohad wants to achieve next, Shimon responded, "The bicycle may allow us to train for the next triathlon. We promise to surprise."
The "Makers for Heroes" project is holding a "Makeathon" event from Tuesday to Thursday. Some 15 development teams from different fields, including physiotherapists and occupational therapists will work together at the event to help 15 injured soldiers.