When the Second Intifada broke out in September 2000, Matan’s unit was sent to the Gaza Strip. The area was filled with explosive devices and booby traps. His unit was working diligently at defusing the bombs when one exploded, wounding Matan severely and killing three members of his unit. Matan’s leg, which was previously injured during training, was now far worse. A routine surgery that was supposed to fix the problem was unsuccessful. He was left in excruciating and unrelenting pain. Besides the physical injury, Matan was plagued by terrible post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that went undiagnosed for years. Matan was suffering horribly — physically and psychologically — even attempting suicide on several different occasions. He ended up in a psychiatric facility, where he underwent intensive treatment for his PTSD and was finally diagnosed as suffering from a rare Chronic Pain Syndrome. His pain was so severe that he felt relieved when the decision was made to amputate his leg.
Matan was tattooed during Healing Ink Tel Aviv by artist Luke Wessman at Bulletproof Gym on October 24, 2016