July 16, 2024
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‘Restart’ Provides Medical Assistive Devices to Injured IDF Soldiers

Restart has been filling a gap in the needs of IDF soldiers who have sustained permanent, and previously debilitating, injuries since its 2014 inception. Many individuals are able to move through the healing and recovery process following an injury with relative ease, courtesy of the excellent care they receive in Israel. For some soldiers, however, though their injuries heal, they are left with physical limitations that impact their ability to resume normal activities or progress to career training or higher education.

While Israel offers some of the most advanced and effective institutions for injury rehabilitation and providing adaptive/assistive devices, some conditions are so unique or complicated that they fall outside the “usual and customary” services and equipment that are typically available.

That’s where “Restart” comes in, with its unique and highly creative team of engineers and experts, and equally important “non-experts,” who brainstorm regarding the specific needs created by an injury that might be termed “out of the box.”

Restart officially incorporated in 2018 as a tax-deductible-donation entity. The organization mobilizes business executives, injured soldiers and entrepreneurs to work together to help the soldiers overcome various obstacles and challenges. Through its innovative efforts, Restart is dedicated to developing technological and practical solutions that improve the physical, emotional and social well-being of wounded veterans.

Restart connects wounded IDF veterans to the business and technology community, empowering them to strengthen their sense of ability. The organization also provides practical tools for the veterans’ personal and professional development, develops innovative technological solutions for their daily challenges and those of the global handicapped community and assists them in achieving self-realization and fulfillment.

As Niv Efron, CEO and himself an injured IDF veteran, described, these lofty goals, the guiding light of Restart, help to shift the focus of an injured soldier “from victim mentality towards reintegrating into society, instead of remaining ‘stuck.’” Restart opens the doors for wounded soldiers, so they can become productive citizens who can maximize their strengths and abilities.

At a parlor meeting earlier this month, hosted by Allen and Miriam Pfeiffer, guests shared in a compelling demonstration of one of the essential therapeutic functions of Restart: storytelling.

Yosef Abramson related in poignant and frightening detail the incident in which he sustained his injury, describing the assault of bullets when he and his comrade were besieged and entrapped, both of them being hit. He described the sounds, the images, their injuries and how they were relentlessly bombarded, and relayed his stream of consciousness as he calculated the strategies and risks of how to move his wounded friend—despite his own injuries—to safety, and where there was a possibility of being rescued. Abramson punctuated his story by sharing the afterthought that he still questions whether he had done enough for his friend.

The “storytellers” program engages a rotation of soldiers who tell their stories, aiding them to deal with and begin to recover from the lingering psychological and emotional effects of their traumatic experiences.

One of the Restart “makers,” the professional and lay teams of innovators, developed a wrist device that measures various physiological functions, basically a compact multi-modal biofeedback instrument. The device serves as an “early warning system,” and alerts the wearer of a possible impending panic attack based on the detection of certain physiological changes.

Restart partners with companies to create jobs for wounded soldiers, as well as in the development of materials and devices that provide assistive aid to soldiers. In its young history, Restart has benefitted 200 soldiers, 80 in the past year alone. To achieve such intensive and important services and outcomes, a corps of 1,000 volunteers also drives the organization.

Restart welcomes your help as well. If you are someone who likes to “think out of the box” and have a desire to improve the quality of life of injured IDF soldiers, Restart would like to hear from you.

To become involved with Restart or to donate, please visit their website at www.Restartglobal.org.

By Ellie Wolf

 

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