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Dr. Erez Banai / Izhar Choen
Izhar Choen
Dr. Erez Banai

Izhar Choen

Izhar Choen  |  Dr. Erez Banai

Izhar Cohen

My name is Izhar, and I was 23 years old when I was wounded in Lebanon during military activity in 1985.
As a result of my injury I lost my eye sight. At this point of my life I encountered something I had never known: blindness, eternal darkness.

I can describe what was then something new and unclear for me as a situation with two main problems:
The first problem is that you loose your independence and become completely dependent on others. For me this was extremely difficult.

The second problem was the experience of losing trust in your body. I was once a commander of a elite unit that would repeatedly cross enemy lines, someone who felt he was on top of the world. In one moment I found myself lying on a hospital bed, bandages עבודה בשטחon both eyes, experiencing an amount of pain I have never felt before. I couldn't even tell who was visiting or speaking to me.

Getting used to the fact that all I could see was darkness. No colors. No ability to see.

This was the beginning of a long and difficult rehabilitation process in which I had to learn everything from the beginning.

Walking around the house in complete darkness...learning to read and write using Braille...and later on - meeting "Hetz", the guide dog I received from Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Getting used to taking him wherever I went and learning to trust him.

The day "Hetz" came into my life my dependency on others diminished and my confidence began to grow again.

Today, crossing enemy lines means going with "Hetz" to the bank and paying my bills, going to the supermarket and doing my own shopping. Just as when I was a member of an elite combat unit, I say to myself over and over again, There is nothing I can't do!

There is no doubt in my mind, a Seeing Eye dog is the ideal solution for a blind person like myself. It is what has enabled me to come back to life and function like anyone else. Without dependency on others or insecurity. Being free.


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