The soldier, 19, who immigrated to Israel a year ago, collapsed during the workout. He is in serious condition, sedated and on a respirator at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, where he was transferred from Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera.
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According to the IDF official, temperature and humidity levels on Sunday were such that according to protocol allow for a 40-minute run, which the soldiers were supposed to complete.
"They were running according to orders," the official said. "Over the past few weeks, this team was forced to cancel three fitness training sessions due to heat waves. Another session scheduled to be held at the same time for a different team was canceled because it was more competitive."
The soldier's mother and sister arrived Monday from the US and stayed by his side. Nahal Brigade Commander Colonel Yehuda Fuchs also visited the soldier.
According to preliminary investigation of the events leading to the soldier's collapse, he had slept for five and a half hours the night before he collapsed, at relatives' house in Kfar Saba, which he left at 7:30 in the morning; the run began at 8:30.
Some 50 minutes into the run, during the final 100 meters, in which the solders were sprinting, he collapsed. The team leader instructed two of the leaders to carry their friend to the showers. After he was washed with cold water, he was taken to the infirmary, where he was wrapped in sheets in which ice cubes were placed. Then he was evacuated to the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center.
The senior official noted that if the soldier were not taken to the showers, things might have ended differently.
Avi Ben Efraim, who runs Kibbutz Malkia's pre-army program said that the soldier was a lone soldier who came to Israel in a special program.
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