IDF colonel rehabilitated after parachuting accident to participate in Alyn’s Wheels of Love fundraising bike ride

Dror Palatin, who fell 10,000 feet in a parachuting accident and was severely injured but rehabilitated himself in years of effort.

Alyn bike ride medals 370 (photo credit: Courtesy Alyn)
Alyn bike ride medals 370
(photo credit: Courtesy Alyn)
Among the 700 bike riders from Israel and 12 countries abroad participating in Alyn Hospital’s 14th annual, fiveday, 400-kilometer Wheels of Love fund-raising event is Col. (res.) Dror Peltin, who fell over 3,000 meters in a parachuting accident and was severely injured but rehabilitated himself in years of effort.
Five years ago Peltin’s main parachute didn’t open, and his reserve chute opened too late to protect him from injury. His identification with the physically disabled children at the Jerusalem pediatric rehabilitation facility led him to participate in the biking event to raise money from sponsors. Alyn hopes that over $2 million will be raised by Thursday to help the children.
After 25 years of service in the IDF, including as a commander of the Jordan Valley Brigade during the second intifada, Peltin is in charge of the Parachuting School.
Peltin recalled that he was awake when he hit the ground a few kilometers away from where he was supposed to land, but when he felt bones emerging from his legs and understood how serious the injury was, he lost consciousness.
He broke his thigh and pelvis, some of his abdominal muscles were severely injured, and he needed platinum bars to be inserted into his limbs.
“I asked my wife – who is a nurse – after the operations if I would be able to walk again, and she said yes,” he said.
He realized that effort he put into rehabilitation would determine whether he would be able to walk.
“One of my physiotherapists told me that within a year, I would be able to run a marathon. I thought he was joking,” Peltin recalled.
Since he recovered, he has participated in an Eilat triathlon, the Kinneret Crossing and even in an Ironman competition. But the Wheels of Love bike ride is a high point for him, he added.
At the end of the race, Alyn children hand out medallions to the riders, including Peltin.
The young patients suffer from a variety of disabilities, including motor, sensory, respiratory, communicative, cognitive and behavioral deficits.
This year’s ride began at Michmoret on Sunday with five routes: off-road, off-road enduro, on-road, challenge on-road and a touring route.
All routes leave from Mevo’ot Yam at Michmoret. Some of the places they pass are Binyamina, Zichron Ya’acov, the Lower Galilee, the Gilboa, the Kinneret, the Beit She’an Valley, Latrun and the Judean Hills.