U.S. immigrant who collapsed during IDF training opens eyes

(JTA) — An immigrant to Israel from Los Angeles who collapsed during physical training in the army and was placed on life support has opened his eyes and started breathing on his own.

Matthew Klein, 20, collapsed Aug. 18 while on a training run with his Nahal Brigade unit.

Klein’s friends and army buddies were at his bedside in a Tel Aviv Monday when he opened his eyes and spoke for the first time in more than a week, the Israeli daily Yediot Acharonot reported.

The Israel Defense Forces have determined that, despite the heat and humidity, the run was within the protocol for health and safety guidelines for training in hot weather.

Klein’s mother arrived in Israel the day after his collapse, to be at his bedside.

Klein made aliyah more than a year ago, after participating in a gap-year Young Judea Israel Program, the Los Angeles Jewish Journal reported. He is a graduate of the Shalhevet high school in Los Angeles.

Sign up for Your Morning Light