The Story of a MedTech CEO in Wartime
The events of October 7th were unexpected, not just for me, but for all of Israel. Fresh from a clinical advisory board meeting and gearing up for NASS, the premier spinal conference in the US, the holiday season in Israel was supposed to be a brief respite.
But the morning of October 7th changed everything. The sheer scale and horror of the attacks became evident, and it was clear that peace between Israel and the Palestinians was farther away than ever, as Prof. Harari highlighted on CNN.
A brief history lesson is necessary here. The Oslo Accords of the early 1990s were met with violent resistance. Despite our strides towards peace, including our withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, attacks on civilians persisted. Yet, amidst these challenges, the potential of peace with moderate Muslim countries glimmered on the horizon.
As Israel faced daily attacks and the unfolding of horrors, I was at a crossroads with PathKeeper. We’d just started our commercial phase, having concluded our Alpha testing, and were on the brink of showcasing our FDA-cleared system at NASS.
But how could I reconcile the excitement of this business and scientific achievement with the terror surrounding me? Should I stay, volunteer, or join the younger Israelis being called to duty? And with NASS looming, how could I leave my nation and loved ones behind in these dire times?
This dilemma isn’t unique to me or even to Israelis. Across the globe, in places like Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, people grapple with balancing their personal and professional lives amidst conflict and terror.
However, as Prof. Harari rightly points out, terrorism aims to disrupt our way of life. Our response? To maintain balance. Following the October 7th attack, Israelis displayed immense restraint, directing their anger solely at the terror organizations, not the communities they hailed from. This distinction is vital for preserving our liberal, peace-loving society.
In the middle of the turmoil, I faced doubts about PathKeeper’s ongoing fundraising efforts. Yet, in the darkest moments, rays of humanity shone through. An Egyptian-origin surgeon offered shelter to my family and me, a gesture that rejuvenated my faith in humanity.
I chose resilience. PathKeeper will remain in Israel, as will I. We’ll demonstrate our unwavering spirit even in wartime. I attended NASS, proudly displaying the Israeli flag, and the reception was heartwarming. Many expressed their support for Israel and were eager to explore our technology. Returning home, the war still rages. But our spirit remains unbroken. We mourn our losses, defend our future, and tirelessly pursue peace. Above all, we stay committed to a positive vision of the future, where we do everything we can to help build a better world for all and help others by enhancing spinal care.