Swords of iron stories

The Story of Liam Spielman

  • The Story of Liam Spielman​

The UAV may have shattered into pieces, but I did not!”

Capt. (res.) Liam Spielman 26 years old from Netanya. He was a reserves officer in the Nahal Infantry Brigade.
He was critically wounded on November 11, 2023 by a Hezbollah U.A.V (unmanned aerial vehicle) on the northern border.
He is a fitness instructor by profession and when the war broke out, he was in the Congo, training the local army.

When he heard the news on October 7th, he left everything and flew back to Israel. Although he had not received a call-up, he asked to enlist. His regiment was occupying a sector on the northern border near Kibbutz Yiftach. He was responsible for 20 combatants.

Liam says that he recognized the UAV.  He and his men, suddenly saw a large enemy fighter plane/jet flying low, he managed to identify and warn the soldiers to evacuate quickly, but he himself was not able to make it and the drone crashed a few meters away from him. As a result, he flew about 10 meters in the air.  His legs were critically wounded, his main artery was torn in his right leg, and he also suffered multiple injuries to his spine, when a piece of shrapnel from the war head on the drone penetrated his back damaging two vertebrae and tearing his small intestine. He lost so much blood that he had no blood pressure at all. When they evacuated him, he died a clinical death on the way and they landed him at Ziv Hospital in Safed (because they didn’t have time to fly him to Haifa’s Rambam Hospital) the medical team had already declared death, but they did not give up on him and fought for his life. The doctors told his parents that it was either saving him or his leg.  The team at Ziv hospital consulted a senior vascular specialist, who happened to be in the north at that moment, left everything and quickly drove to a hospital to operate on him and was able to save his leg.  He was unconscious for 10 days, a month in intensive care.

After four days he was moved to Tel Hashomer where he continued his rehabilitation.  Recently he was released from Tel Hashomer to continue his rehab at Tel Aviv’s Beit Halochem, which he has joined as a member and has begun signing up at the Young Veterans Club for different activities.

“I was with two soldiers at the outpost, they spotted something big in the distance, probably a fighter jet. The soldiers asked if it was ours, I recognized that it was not. Because it was flying too low to be ours and because of the noise it was making, that is different from ours. We’ve encountered explosive drones before but this one was of a different magnitude, and huge.

We started running, less than 10 seconds, it came diving down quickly, while we were running to a protected area, we were wearing protective gear.  It crashed with the warhead on top of us. I was conscious. The medical staff said I arrived without blood pressure. They fought to stabilize me. The soldier was in front of me and I took most of the impact, being thrown up and far from the explosion. It crashed behind us.

I suffered a very severe right leg injury with additional injuries to my other leg, stomach, back. The main artery caused a burst of bleeding. A piece of shrapnel entered under the ceramic vest in the lower back and crushed several vertebrae and came out the other side and hit the intestines – a near fatal injury. I was conscious, I announced that there were others wounded, I did not feel the legs, I did not understand the situation because I did not feel them. A tourniquet that I had in my pocket helped me, treatment in a protected space, they discovered internal bleeding in my back, and realized that I was in critical condition and decided to evacuate. In such a situation you act like a robot. I imagined that at some point I would get injured in this fight, and scenarios passed me by and when it happened, I just acted out the event as much as I could. The medical teams saved me, I was dying in the evacuation itself, so they dropped me off at Ziv Hospital (which was evacuated for security reasons), but thanks to the fact that there were no other patients there, the team was able to focus on my treatment.”


Bank Leumi Le-Israel B.M
Branch No. 93200/18
Iban: IL69 0106 3100 0000 9320 018

Zahal Disabled Veterans Fund
49 Shmuel Barcay St.,
Tel Aviv, 6139201