"I remember the doctors who came (to my aid) in white coats, and I was waiting to hear what they had to say," he told Ynet. "I hope to help people, just like they helped me."
Lubotzky, a Golani Brigade officer, served as a platoon commander at the 51st regiment when the 2006 Lebanon War broke out. He was injured when an antitank missile hit his vehicle in a battle at Bint Jbeil, during which 8 soldiers from his regiment were killed. Lubotzky's right leg was severed, and he suffered burns and shrapnel wounds all over his body.
"They told me that during the evacuation, the leg just fell off the gurney," Lubotzky said. "No one believed that it could be saved."
Asael Lubotzky with wife and daughter
Luckily for the young officer, the medical team at the Rambam hospital in Haifa thought otherwise. The severed limb was returned to its rightful place, reinforced and lengthened by implanted muscles taken from his back. Lubotzky had undergone no less than 10 orthopedic and plastic surgeries over the next year, which were followed by an exhausting rehabilitation period.
"I hope that the experience that I have endured will help me to approach patients with empathy," he said.
'Anyone who's been injured can do this'During a ceremony that took place at Jerusalem's Hebrew University Medical School last week, fourth year medical students came up on the stage, one by one, to receive the white doctor's coats that signify they are now hospital interns, charged with hands-on patient care.
"When my turn came it was a little bit more complicated with the crutches, but it didn't diminish the great excitement that got hold of me," he said. "I feel like, here I am, entering the medical world and coming full circle."
Lubotzky, who is originally from the settlement of Efrat in Gush Etzion, currently lives in Jerusalem. Three months ago, he became a father for the first time. His wife Avital and his daughter Neta attended the ceremony along with his parents and friends.
"It's a sign of appreciation for the great effort that Asael and all of the students have made," Avital Lubotzky said. "It's a great joy."
Lubotzky expressed hope that his story might inspire others who are facing adversities.
"Anyone who has been injured, not matter how seriously, can go in the same direction as I did," he said. "My condition is not at all ideal for these kinds of studies, but I think that what is most important is the spirit. If you aim and aspire, you can do it."
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