FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – An American teenager who was severely wounded in a Tel Aviv suicide bombing earlier this week underwent surgery Friday to remove part of his leg, family friends said.
Daniel Wultz, of Weston, Fla., had two surgeries before Friday’s operation and already lost a kidney and spleen since the attack Monday on a restaurant where he and his father were eating. Tuly Wultz is recovering from a broken leg in the same Tel Aviv hospital as Daniel.
Family friend Tammy Fayne related Tuly Wultz’ feelings after learning his son’s leg would be amputated: “It’s just a leg. We still have Daniel.”
Friends and neighbors could not bring themselves to press Daniel’s parents for more details about his condition. The most people know is that the 16-year-old basketball player lost part of a leg from the knee down as an infection spread up the limb.
“Tuly was crying and I was crying,” said Andrew Abraham, a friend of the family who prays at the same temple and who spoke to the teen’s father Friday. “It’s barbaric what this person did when all (Daniel) wanted was to eat at a restaurant.”
Daniel, a high school sophomore, was passionate about basketball. He spent many hours at a Weston YMCA playing competitively, said Ken Davidson, the sports program coordinator.
Daniel’s condition is more stable than earlier in the week, but it wavers, friends say. The fact he had surgery is a good sign because doctors were waiting until his vital signs were stable before operating, the friends say.
The family has asked people to pray for their son. As a special “prayer,” Daniel’s parents have changed his Hebrew name to include the word for life, Chaim.
Before any request for prayers was made, they surged from people of all faiths and as far as Mississippi, said Abraham, who has asked many friends to pray, regardless of their religion. Daniel’s school, the David Posnack Hebrew Day School, will hold a schoolwide prayer service Monday.
“He needs prayers,” Abraham said. “That’s what it comes down to.”
Abraham and the Wultz’s temple, the Chabad Lubavitch of Weston, have ordered blue and white rubber wrist bands inscribed with the message “Pray for Daniel.” Abraham said 2,500 will be finished and some will be available to pick up at the temple.
The temple has also set up a fund, the Daniel Wultz Gemilas Chessed Fund, to raise money for the family, said Rabbi Yisroel Spalter. Donations can be made on the synagogue’s Web site, www.chabadofweston.com.
An organization that donates money and time to families of terrorist bombing victims, One Family Fund, is also taking donations for the Wultz family and others affected by Monday’s bombing. Contributions can be made at www.onefamilyfund.org.
Rabbi Spalter is heading to Tel Aviv Saturday to join Daniel’s family.
“God willing, he will survive and come through this,” he said.