Yoav Has No Regrets, Except for One

April 12, 2024

Yoav Tzivoni was traveling abroad on vacation on October 7th. He immediately jumped through many hoops to get back to Israel as quickly as possible to volunteer to return to service with his IDF unit.

He was shot in the leg and seriously wounded in Gaza in December. And then as he lay there bleeding, two missiles came at him and one of his best friends, Tzvika Lavi, who lay on the ground next to him. The first missile swerved wide but the second exploded next to him, severely wounding Tzvika and further seriously wounding Yoav.

Among other wounds, Yoav’s throat was badly damaged and a medic’s firm finger on a severed neck artery kept him alive on the evacuation flight. Ultimately he lost his left leg below the knee, the hearing in his left ear, and much of his voice due to damage to his vocal cords — but not his smile

Yoav weeps when talking about Tzvika, who died after two weeks in intensive care.

Yoav doesn’t regret rushing back to Israel and joining his unit. His only regret is an inability to get back to the field now to fight. Despite the serious nature of his wounds, his determination, spirit and patriotism are undimmed. He plays down his injuries and told the New York Sun that the loss of his leg was a “light flu” compared to some other war wounded.

Anyone who meets Yoav while he rehabilitates at Sheba’s Shani Rehabilitation Hospital is overwhelmed by his grace, his calm, and his love for Israel. Even seated in a wheelchair, he is a commanding presence.

Sheba has received 1487 wounded to date, 70% of all soldiers wounded in this war. The survival rate of wounded soldiers who arrive at Sheba is 99.85%, all the more remarkable given that Sheba receives the majority of most critical cases and critical transfers from other hospitals.

How blessed we all are to have Yoav and we salute his sacrifice and heroism. And I know there is much more to come from him in life, once he walks out of Sheba.

And he will walk out of Sheba.

Am Yisrael Chai


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