“Don’t give up on your dreams—if you have faith, everything is possible.”

Adi Deutsch running a marathon

Today, Adi Deutsch runs marathons and competes as a triathlete. This November, he completed the 2015 New York City Marathon in three hours and 54 minutes.

Adi Deutsch served in the Special Reconnaissance Unit of the Golani Infantry Brigade. In 1979, he took part in a heroic rescue mission when terrorists infiltrated Nahariya by dinghy and tragically murdered an entire family. Adi and his unit surrounded the terrorists and captured their leader.
A few months later Adi was critically wounded in another operation…

“We were a small squad on a mission deep inside Lebanon, inspecting passageways for heavy equipment. It was supposed to be a quiet intelligence investigation. After completing our operation, going downhill towards the Litani River, I stepped on an anti-personnel mine. The explosion destroyed my body and shattered my right leg. I was evacuated by helicopter back to Israel.

“On my first leave from the hospital, I was at my parents’ house sitting on a bar stool. When I wanted to get off my seat, I did what I would normally have done until that day—I put my right foot down. Except there was no right foot. I fell directly on my stub, and all the stitches opened up. I recall this event as a frustrating crisis, coupled with a lot of anger, depression and a definite regression in my progress.”

This was until Adi visited Beit Halochem and began his rehabilitation. Along with hydro and physiotherapy, he started swimming in the Olympic size pool and later was introduced to cycling and running.

“Cycling is an incredible sport for amputees. There’s no pressure on the stub, the movements are repetitive and you learn to overcome all obstacles. Biking breaks the barriers of confined spaces where one’s normal rehabilitation takes place and it extends your functioning way beyond the limits and boundaries of your disability.

“I had always dreamed of participating in an Ironman competition and I was determined not to let my injury stop me. In January 2013 I stood at the starting line with 139 other athletes in Eilat, for one of the toughest races in the world: 3.8 km swimming in the sea, 180 km of cycling and a full 42 km marathon. I came in 50th, fourth in my age category and was the first Israeli amputee to ever complete this race.

“I was able to accomplish my goal thanks to the coaching, assistance and programs that Beit Halochem offered me. Sport is crucial in rehabilitating the body and mind. Being a disabled athlete, I know that I can achieve anything given the right environment. Beit Halochem provided this for me. “