Ohad Ben-Yishai, an IDF soldier who suffered a shrapnel wound to the head during Operation Protective Edge, was released on Monday from Sheba Hospital after an 18-month long recovery period.
The rehabilitation hospital invited musicians and artists, as well as the victim's family, to come and participate in a farewell party for Ben-Yishai. The party was organized by two hospital volunteers, Anik and Sara. Among the artists that performed were Hatikva 6 and singer Kobi Aflalo. Ben-Yishai's friends from the Egoz unit also attended, many of whom are set to be finish their mandatory service on Wednesday.
Ben-Yishai's family had a hard time holding back the tears. "A year and a half ago, while we were lounging in a safe harbor, a huge tsunami blew up in our faces," Shimon Ben-Yishai described his feelings about the injury to his son. "The wave really changed the routine of our lives, it came without warning and without any preparation. In the last year-and-a-half we have weathered storms that have tossed us off of our course repeatedly. It is thanks to many wonderful people who shone a light toward us and thrown us life preservers time and again, that we are hear today."
Shimon was overcome with emotion as he ended his speech. "We are going back home and I only have one thing to say to everyone who helped us. Thank you!"
Professor Shlomo Noy, Acting Director of Sheba Hospital, praised Ohad and his family in a speech he gave to commemorate the emotional homecoming. "The significant rehabilitation that Ohad has undergone in the last year and a half is due to the incredible tenacity the he has shown together with his family, who has not left his side for even a moment. The Ben-Yishai family supported Ohad, and helped him through the most difficult times."
Noy continued to praise Ben-Yishai and his family, saying that "I am certain that Ohad's story will give hope and strength to many people. It is a privilege to have been ale to play a part in the story of Ohad's recovery. The process is not yet over, but he continues to improve substantially."
Ohad Ben-Yishai was wounded from shrapnel that entered his head while fighting terrorists in the Shejaiya neighborhood in Gaza City. He was quickly airlifted to the Soroka Medical Center, where he underwent surgery.
For days Ben-Yishai was sedated and on a respirator, with his family staying at his bedside and praying for a sign of life. Since he first opened his eyes and began to regain consciousness on August 5th 2014, Ohad has been in rehab and under the care of the staff and family at Sheba hospital, has been able to regain the ability to walk under his own power, talk and interact with his surroundings.
Ohad was released from Hospital on Monday and returned home, but he will need to continue to undergo rehabilitation procedures in order to regain his full capacity.