“I really miss being able to see the sky, any shade of the sky.”

image: Yehuda PersiOn November 10, 2012, Yehuda Persi, a Givati Brigade fighter was blinded and severely wounded when an anti-tank missile hit the jeep he was driving near the Gaza border. He was only 23 years old.

“We were the first vehicle in the patrol. I was the driver. As we rounded the corner, a missile was launched at us from Gaza, 800 metres away. It penetrated the side of the armoured jeep and came out the other end. The missile blew up and shrapnel flew into my face. All four of us in the jeep were badly injured.”

“As a result of this incident, Operation Pillar of Defense was launched four days later.”

Over three months, Yehuda underwent numerous complicated surgeries on his head and eyes. While learning to cope with his new reality, his dreams of becoming an electrical engineer are on hold.
“I had to move back home with my parents and learn to adjust to being blind. Daily tasks became a hardship, but I learned to cope. I can now take a shower on my own, prepare basic meals, and dress myself. The bigger problem is everything outside my house and comfort zone.”

“Even though I cannot see, I constantly feel my damaged face and body. I am waiting to undergo more plastic surgeries as well as a prosthetic eye transplant. There are still pieces of shrapnel that need to be removed.”

“I smile and try to have a positive outlook on life. Until I am given the absolute, final verdict on my vision, I still hope to see again, even if just a little, just a bit. I really miss being able to see the sky, any shade of the sky.”

image: Yehuda rappelling

One of the activities that Yehuda enjoys is rappelling with the Young Disabled Veterans Club, which is funded by Beit Halochem Canada. Here Yehuda (wearing the black T-shirt) is about to begin his descent.

Thanks to Beit Halochem, Yehuda has moved forward, regaining a future filled with promise and possibility.

Yehuda spends most of his days at Beit Halochem in Tel Aviv, where he receives physiotherapy and participates in sports and social programs. He works out at the fitness facility and enjoys swimming and running.

Yehuda is active in the Young Disabled Veterans Club, attending lectures and workshops. He participates in the jeep-touring group, loves to rappel, wall climb, ski, go-cart, and dive. This club and all these activities are funded by Beit Halochem Canada, Aid to Disabled Veterans of Israel.