Ziv Shilon, the officer who lost an arm in an explosion at the Gaza border Tuesday, awoke on Wednesday after undergoing multiple operations. He was reported as being in stable and moderate condition.
Shilon’s brother sat by the injured captain’s bedside when he came to, and, upon waking, Shilon asked his brother for a cigarette and a Cola, Channel 10 reported. Doctors did not permit Shilon — who was still hooked up to a respirator — to smoke a cigarette, but allowed him to indulge in a Coke.
GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Tal Russo paid Shilon a visit at the hospital. Shilon saluted Russo with his remaining arm, a gesture that reportedly caused his superior officer to shed a tear.
Staff at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba reported earlier on Wednesday that Shilon’s condition improved during the night and surgeons operated on his other arm, which was also injured in the attack. During a lengthy operation, surgeons were forced to amputate one of Shilon’s arms.
Dr. Moti Klein, head of Soroka’s intensive care unit, told Channel 10 that if Shilon continues to improve at this rate they will take him off the respirator soon.
Shilon was patrolling near a gate in the border fence on Tuesday night when a bomb believed to be planted by Gazan terrorists exploded, seriously injuring the solider.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone with Shilon’s mother, Margalit, and wished her son a speedy recovery.
“There is nothing like a son’s love for his mother. Today, the entire nation loves and embraces your son. We will do our utmost to assist his rehabilitation.”