LIBYA: ‘His life is more important than his leg’

Update From The Field: Libya

EMERGENCY Surgical Centre for War Victims, Gernada

Update From Libya: Najib, 22, was brought to our hospital in ‎Gernada, ‪Libya, a week ago after a bullet wounded his leg. As Najib entered the operating theatre, his father approached us.

My wife and I would like to go into the ward to see Najib before the operation‘ he said.

22-year old Najib was brought to our hospital in ‎Gernada, ‪Libya, a week ago. Five days earlier, a bullet wounded his leg. After being taken to a hospital in ‪‎Benghazi, where he was given some initial treatment, he was transferred to our hospital.

We saw straight away that his condition was really serious: a vascular injury to the leg, which was also showing widespread signs of infection.

Our surgeons tried to do what they could but, unfortunately, amputation was the only possibility. We called his father and explained the seriousness of the situation, asking his go-ahead for the operation.

His life is more important than his leg‘ he replied, trying to hold back the tears.

Najib’s parents got here in the early morning to spend some time with their son before the operation. We helped them put on the lab coats, so they could enter the intensive care unit. Hand in hand, they went up to his bed and then hugged him, stroked his head and reassured him.

Seeing Najib’s mother talk so gently to her son and cuddle him made us think how nothing, not even war, can destroy the love and affection that bind people together.

Written by Marina, EMERGENCY’s Medical Coordinator in Libya.


Najib’s operation went very well,” Marina, our Medical Coordinator in Libya, tells us, “It was a life-saving operation for him.”

22 year old Najib’s leg had been hit by a bullet and showed widespread signs of infection. Unfortunately, the only solution was to amputate it.

“In the coming days we’ll give him all the necessary medication and, if everything goes as well as we hope, he should be able to go home quite soon,”  Marina explains, “Najib is young and strong, and he’s recovering well.”

Good luck Najib!

Since October 2015, EMERGENCY has been operating a Surgical Centre in Gernada, Al Bayda Province, Libya. The Centre offers free, high-quality surgical and trauma treatment for war victims. In addition to the provision of surgical and medical care, the Centre aims to contribute to re-building the capacity and sustainability of the Libyan national health system by offering professional training programs on patient stabilization, treatment, and trauma management. In our hospitals we give great importance to the training of local staff. For EMERGENCY, providing sustainable healthcare means training medical and non-medical staff who can continue to provide free, high quality healthcare after we leave.

Find out more about our work in Libya here.

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